Perth's Eastern Region aspires to become a leader in strategically dealing with climate change within the local government sector and wishes to inspire others to also take up the challenge of mitigating carbon emissions. The Achieving Carbon Emissions Reduction (ACER) Program was developed in 2009 by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) in collaboration with its six member councils; the Town of Bassendean, City of Bayswater, City of Belmont, Shire of Kalamunda, Shire of Mundaring and the City of Swan.
The ACER Program is an initiative developed to encourage and support member councils within Perth's Eastern Region to monitor, report on and reduce their corporate carbon emissions. The ACER Program also provides information and education to businesses and the community on reducing energy consumption, managing carbon emissions and other climate change related issues.
Developments over the past 18 months include:
The ACER Program is based on the belief that to affect change globally, you first must act locally.
The ACER Program was initiated in response to the Australian Government's withdrawal of funding from ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Program in 2009. EMRC and its member councils determined it was necessary to continue to monitor and to mitigate their emissions as well as to educate the community through leading by example.
Previously under the CCP Program, member councils undertook a milestone framework aimed at reducing their corporate and community emissions. All member councils achieved CCP PLUS between 2005 and 2007.
The ACER Program continues the important work begun under the CCP Program. Due to the withdrawal of funding for the CCP Program the software used to conduct inventories was also withdrawn.
Designed specifically for local government, the WALGA Emissions Reporting Platform is provided as a hosted service by Greensense Consulting, providing a basis for monitoring and future reporting of carbon emissions compliant with the National Greenhouse Emissions Reporting System (NGERS).
For more information regarding the WALGA Platform, please go to the WALGA website at http://www.walgaclimatechange.com.au/walga-reporting-platform.htm or contact EMRC's Environmental Consultant (details below).
The ACER Program was a finalist in the WA Sustainable Energy Association (WASEA) 2010 awards for Innovation and Excellence under the Community and Regional Initiatives category. These awards aim to recognise and celebrate those leading the way in reducing emissions and advancing the adoption of renewable energy at a regional level in Australia.
EMRC developed an issues paper regarding carbon pricing impacts for local government following the announcement of the Australian Government's Clean Energy Plan on 10 July 2011.
In summary, the paper notes that the introduction of a carbon price mechanism will financially impact local government operations, but that the impact, without considering waste management, will be comparatively modest.
Implementing energy efficiency and other mitigation actions early will realise both social and economic benefits to local government. There will be funding opportunities, such as the Community Energy Efficiency Program, available to local government to implement mitigation actions as well as economic opportunities to reform strategies and services in the transition to a clean energy future. These opportunities are supported through a number of schemes, programs and projects available through EMRC and government initiatives.
The issues paper is available below for download:
The EMRC has been successful in its first round application for $647,000 in regional funding through the Australian Government's Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP), one of only seven WA recipients from 63 across Australia.
The Hon Greg Combet, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, visited Bayswater Waves Aquatic Centre on Thursday, 14 June 2011, to make the announcement and tour the facility, which is one of four community facilities in Perth's Eastern Region which will undertake energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits under the funding.
The $1.3 million regional project is titled "Re-energising Perth's Eastern Region: Energy efficient lighting, air-conditioning and pool pump retrofits of key community facilities in Perth's Eastern Region".
Key features of the "Re-energising Perth's Eastern Region" project include:
More information regarding the Community Energy Efficiency Program can be found on our Low Carbon Communities webpage.
As part of the ACER Program, the Home Energy Audit Kit was developed as a community resource. The kit contains a variety of tools which allow residents to conduct an energy audit within the privacy of their home, and increase their understanding of energy use and sustainability.
Kits are now available at selected libraries within Perth's Eastern Region; just like borrowing a book or DVD. The Town of Bassendean, City of Bayswater and City of Belmont have implemented kits in their main libraries.
For more information about the kits and other sustainability initiatives, please refer to:
Joanne Woodbridge - Environmental Consultant
Phone: (08) 9424 2243