Initially Council focused its efforts on reducing the emissions due to its own activities to set an example to its community. In doing so, it has gained much valuable knowledge and experience that it can pass to the community (both individuals and businesses) through various educational and awareness raising campaigns. One of the key approaches that have enabled Hornsby Council to achieve considerable reductions so far is through its commitment of resources. In 2000/2001, Council committed surplus funds of $450,000 to energy effi cient projects and, in 1999 carried a resolution to establish a Revolving Energy Fund (REF). Hornsby's REF is a mechanism of reinvesting any available shortterm energy cost savings into additional greenhouse gas saving projects. It was created in 1999 with the following guidelines:- Funds should not be used for ?business as usual? activities.- Eligibility is restricted to energy efficiency, renewable energy and other greenhouse gas reduction projects.- Funds should only be allocated to sustainable projects, i.e. those that themselves generate savings in the future.- Funds should only be made available for projects that would be able to be implemented without the aid of this reserve.
Hornsby has a population of 150,000 who would benefit both directly and indirectly from the implementation of the sustainable energy plan. Likewise, Hornsby Council will benefit from the participaton of community residents and business; Council has identified a number of programs that can contribute to a shift in attitudes and practices within the broader community and will be actively seeking partners from both the business and residential sectors to support and promulgate that change.
Individuals:There are many benefits to individuals resulting from Community Reduction Measures in Hornsby's Sustainable Energy Strategy. These include:Home and Garden Improvement Workshops - half-day workshops for residents designed to provide information on heating and cooling, energy and water management and grey water systems, participants received a free retrofit kit. The projected savings of these workshops is 1058 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.Earthwise Day - The one day event demonstrated resource conservation practices, including reuse, composting, energy efficient trechnology, solar design of homes and water friendly gardeing. Since the day, several rainwater tanks have been installed in the community.Society: One benefit to the community is through Hornsby's Energy Efficient Housing Policy; Hornsby adheres to the New South Wales government?s BASIX initiative that ensures all new residential housing conforms to environmentally sustainable design principles. Each development application for a residential dwelling must be submitted with a BASIX Certificate. A certificate is issued once a BASIX assessment has been satisfactorily completed, using the on-line tool which allows the user to select from a range of options in order to meet the NSW Government?s targets of at least a 25% (the target varies with the building type and location) reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared with the average home. These targets also apply to new multi-unit residents and from July 2006 to alterations and additions to homes. Over ten years, these conditions are expected to result in savings 9.5 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions in NSW.Economy:Hornsby was a pioneer in Australia for its use of Energy Performance Contracts (EPC). This is a method simultaneously implementing and financing renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades whereby future energy savings pay for the cost of upgrades. A key feature of an EPC is that it delivers guaranteed savings. When the equipment or facilities are replaced or upgraded to more energy efficient or renewable energy technologies under an EPC, the contractor guarantees the energy savings.To launch its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy, Hornsby implemented Australia?s most comprehensive local government energy performance contract at a time when the EPC industry was in its infancy. The EPC was funded by an internal loan of $1.3 million. The main aims of the project were achieving guaranteed reductions in energy use and operating costs, and, most importantly, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improvements in internal management processes to ensure reductions are sustained over the long-term.The outcomes of this EPC since its implemenation are the following:- Cost savings: $136,685 per annum.- Energy savings: 4,572,555 MegaJules per annum.- CO2 savings: 307 tonnes CO2equivalents per annum.- Water savings: 27,957 kiloLitres per annum.Environment:Please note the energy, CO2 emissions, and water savings above.In partnership with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian Greenhouse Office, Hornsby Council researched and installed Australia's first cogeneration system called TrigenAir in Hornsby Central Library. This project demonstrates that innovative and environmentally friendly approaches can be employed for the purpose of efficient power generation and air conditioning.Cogeneration refers to the simultaneous production of electricity and heat. The library system takes advantage of this process and of distributed generation, which is the practice of generating electricity near where it is needed so that the by-product heat from the process can be used and not wasted. Waste heat from this process has been employed to provide cooling and heating, and this approach will, over time, reduce Council?s electricity usage and the generation of greenhouse gases.The TrigenAir system is calculated to save 270 MWh/yr of electricity and 400MWH/yr of heating and cooling (CO2 savings: 250 tonnes of CO2 equivalents) per annum.The TrigenAir system consists of a microturbine which is powered by natural gas, and generates 60kW of power used mainly to provide electricity to the library. Any excess electricity can be transferred back to the main electricity supply grid.