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Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

East Gippsland Water

Setting the scene

East Gippsland Water has long been committed to environmental sustainability. We are progressing a series of projects on a pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum off 44 percent, by 1 July 2025, which would take annual emissions down to a maximum of 4,650 tonnes of CO2-e equivalent.

In 2018 we committed to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. In September 2021 our Board agreed that times had changed and in order to demonstrate leadership we would accelerate this target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2035 at the latest. This will involve a range of projects but importantly we will be powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

Some key initiatives to date:

  • An energy performance contract as part of the Efficient Government Buildings program. This saw more than $1.2 million invested in energy efficiency measures at 15 East Gippsland Water sites over two years.
  • An energy partnership with 12 other Victorian water corporations, to collectively purchase solar power from the new Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria, under an umbrella organisation called Zero Emissions Water (ZEW). This project is a key part of our forward plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also maintaining affordable water bills for customers. This project was operational in January 2021
  • Installation of approximately 245kW of solar across our region.

These initiatives are a key part of our forward plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also maintaining affordable water bills for customers.

Annual report for 2020/21

We recorded net greenhouse gas emissions of 7,636 t CO2-e for 2020/21 – meaning they were 7.3 per cent lower than our targeted maximum of 8,240 t CO2-e for the12 months and significantly lower than the 8,335 t CO2-e recorded in 2019/20.

This welcome result was primarily due to our involvement with the Kiamal Solar Farm project, which was officially commissioned in January 2021, and a reduction in scope 1 emissions from our wastewater treatment processes. In June 2021 we voluntarily surrendered 479 Large Generation Certificates (LGCs). This enabled us to report an extra 479MWh of renewable electricity consumption and to reduce our emissions accordingly.

Other initiatives implemented, or furthered, during 2020/21 included:

  • the installation of a new 31kW solar system at East Gippsland Water’s head office. This means the corporation has now commissioned 245kW of solar systems across 18 sites in recent years
  • feasibility studies and design work on two large scale solar installations to be installed in 2022
  • active engagement and collaboration with other water corporations, industry bodies, community networks and external agencies to pursue best practice in energy management and greenhouse gas reduction
  • an ongoing program to reduce stormwater and saltwater infiltration into our sewer network, with many smaller issues identified and rectified in Paynesville and Bairnsdale. A larger project to re-line approximately 400m of sewer in Paynesville is expected to significantly reduce infiltration in this area.

For more information click on the link below:

Reporting back to you

Our business plan for 2018-23 (our Price Submission) takes into account feedback from 2,200 customers across the region and there was clear support to focus on environmental sustainability.

Based on this feedback, East Gippsland Water’s Customer Committee has a commitment to provide six-monthly updates to you on our progress to cut greenhouse gas emissions.