Sydney’s Woollahra Municipal Council says it is third local government in New South Wales to attain net-zero emissions.
Woollahra Municipal Council is a local government area in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. At just 12km2, it’s the 7th smallest council in terms of land area in New South Wales and is home to around 58,964. It’s a well-to-do area – among its suburbs are Double Bay, Point Piper and of course, Woollahra.
Council has been active in emissions reduction activities for many years and in 2019 became one of close to a hundred other local governments across Australia that have declared a climate emergency.
Some of the actions Woollahra Municipal Council has taken to be certified carbon neutral by Climate Active include:
- Installing solar hot water systems at six Council sites.
- Installing rooftop solar power systems at five Council sites.
- Lighting upgrades at all large Council sites and public amenity blocks, plus sensor installation for the latter
- A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Mooree Solar Farm
- Any remaining emissions are offset through the purchase of carbon credits generated by an (unnamed) solar power project.
“At Woollahra Council we know that Australia’s carbon footprint is among the world’s highest, and while certainly a complex issue, it is something that we are committed to tackling at a local level,” said Mayor of Woollahra Susan Wynne.
According to the IEA Atlas of Energy, Australia ranked 16th in the world for fuel combustion emissions in 2018. On a per capita basis, we ranked 9th.
Woollahra Council’s Solar Efforts
Council’s five solar installations are:
- Murray Rose Pool – 10kW
- Cooper Park Community Hall – 4.7kW
- Hugh Latimer Centre – 4.7kW
- Fletcher Street Depot – 25kW
- Quarry Street Depot – 9.9kW
… for a total capacity of 54.3kW, so not a huge amount. These systems were installed between 2011 and 2016, but more solar power on its way.
Council is also encouraging residents to install solar panels on their homes and it looks like a lot more encouragement is needed. In Woollahra, solar panels are a much less common sight than in some of the “battler” burbs of Sydney, with just 117 installations. Across the local government area, only around 7% of compatible dwellings have solar power systems installed according to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI), compared to a 23% average across New South Wales.
Trivia – among the PV systems in Woollahra Municipal Council’s area is one at the the Point Piper home of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Mr. Turnbull had a 14kW rooftop solar system and 14kwh of battery storage as at September 2017. According to our figures for solar in Point Piper, the system makes up close to 3% of PV capacity that has been installed in postcode 2027.