A Draft Long Term Energy Strategy proposes that council aim to source all its electricity from renewable sources by 2027.
The installation of a mid-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant would be required to meet the target.
The target is set out in Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Draft Long Term Energy Strategy.
The community is encouraged to make submissions in response to the draft strategy on public exhibition.
The strategy, when adopted, will guide strategic decision making when it comes to managing the council’s energy resources.
Cr Peter Alley spoke about the council’s electricity costs and the electricity cost savings the strategy would have, while acknowledging electricity prices were rising.
Cr Mike Cusato voted against placing the draft strategy on exhibition.
“I don’t know how we can go ahead with a policy when we have no idea where it’s heading, so I can’t support this,” he said.
Cr Alley said it was a changing environment and the things that would change ahead included regulation, electricity costs and technology costs.
“That’s why there is an annual review built into this,” he said.
The draft strategy aims to source 100 per cent of the council’s electricity from renewable sources by 2027 and the council will aim to implement one or more mid-scale solar projects when this technology becomes cost efficient to install and operate.
The council will also continue to implement appropriate energy efficiency initiatives, including small-scale solar projects, in the short to medium term, the draft strategy says.
Strategic advice will inform of advances in renewable energy technology.
Council director Jeffery Sharp said the draft strategy was developed in consultation with external expert advisers and focused on the future financial sustainability of the council.
“It includes a review of council’s current energy usage, future energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities,” he said.
Mr Sharp said the strategy would provide the council with a long-term focus on how it continued to become a more sustainable organisation, both financially and from an energy consumption perspective.
The council’s Draft Long Term Energy Strategy is on public exhibition until September 20.
To have your say visit the council’s website, drop into any council office or library, or call the council on 6581 8111.
The final strategy document will be presented to a future council meeting.