Waikato Regional Council has reduced its gross emissions from its corporate activities by 44.4 per cent since 2016/17 and has saved $97,000 in electricity alone in the last 3 years.
Deputy Chair of the council’s Climate Action committee and Thames Coromandel representative on the council Denis Tegg says this is outstanding climate action leadership by the council and shows that substantial savings can also be achieved for ratepayers from emission reduction actions.
Further significant emission reductions and cost savings can be expected when the council installs solar panels on its Paeroa office, says Cr Tegg. “The estimated cost savings in the first year is $4745 and the net savings over 25 years is $101,623. An estimated 83 tons of CO2 equivalent will be avoided over 25 years. The cost of the installation is $35,000 with an estimated payback period of just seven years.”
An annual audit of the regional council’s participation in the Toitū carbon reduce certification programme for 2020/2021 has confirmed a 14.5 per cent annual reduction in mandatory emissions from the previous year.
The council is well on track to meet its current target of 68 per cent CO2e reductions by 2030 compared to its 2016/17 base year.
Emissions from electricity consumption have reduced from 715 tCO2e in the base year of 2016/17 to 226 tO2e in 2020/21, a reduction of 68.4 per cent overall and of 14.4 per cent since 2019/2020.
“Now it’s up to other councils to follow the Regional Council’s lead and get stuck in and implement comprehensive emission reduction actions”, said Cr Tegg. “Recent public submissions to Thames Coromandel District Council on emission reductions show overwhelming support for immediate action. Hauraki District Council has developed an excellent “Carbon Promise” Plan. – It’s time for action.”