Council moves to renewable energy

Published on 22 March 2024

Wind turbines over solar panels

Marking a significant stride towards a sustainable and environmentally responsible future, the Benalla Rural City Council has decided to join the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO). The decision was made during the Council Meeting held Wednesday 20 March 2024.

The Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) stands as the largest emissions reduction project ever undertaken by local government in Australia. Initiated in July 2021, VECO saw over 46 Victorian councils commit to sourcing 100 per cent of their energy from renewable sources. Now, with over 50 councils participating, Benalla Rural City Council joins this collective effort towards a greener future.

Mayor Cr Danny Claridge, expressed his enthusiasm for the decision, stating, "Joining the Victorian Energy Collaboration aligns perfectly with our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. This move not only demonstrates our dedication to reducing our carbon footprint but also showcases our leadership in embracing renewable energy solutions."

The decision to join VECO comes after thorough consideration and analysis of the environmental and financial benefits it presents. Benalla Rural City Council recognises the importance of transitioning to renewable energy, not only for the environment but also for its long-term financial stability.

“The move is expected to result in significant cost savings, with an estimated $415,000 to be saved over the next five years compared to business-as-usual practices,” Cr Claridge said.

The contract with VECO is set to commence on 1 July 2024, and will run until 31 December 2030, with the option to extend by mutual agreement. Pricing will be reviewed every two years to ensure continued financial viability and stability for the Council.

“This move reflects Benalla Rural City Council's dedication to sustainable practices and good governance, as outlined in its Council Plan 2021-2025,” Cr Claridge said.

For more information, please call Benalla Rural City Council on 03 5760 2600.

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