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Water sector signs innovative energy deal

East Gippsland Water

30 April 2019

East Gippsland Water has joined with a consortium of 12 other leading Victorian water corporations in a new energy partnership that will help to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and maintain affordable water bills for customers.

From October this year, the water corporations will collectively purchase solar power from the new Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria, under an umbrella organisation called Zero Emissions Water (ZEW).

Purchasing energy as one large organisation, rather than separately, means the water corporations will buy energy at a cheaper rate, which will translate to maintaining affordable prices for customers.

East Gippsland Water’s Managing Director, Steve McKenzie, said, “The Victorian water industry is committed to advancing projects that benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a positive return on investment for our customers.

“For our part, we originally made a commitment to substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions back in 2008 and are now working on a program of projects to reduce emissions by 40-50 per cent by 2025. These projects include converting food waste to energy at our Bairnsdale Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as operational efficiency improvements to cut our overall electricity consumption and significant investment in solar power at our own sites to offset purchasing energy from the grid.”

The new energy partnership with other water businesses will allow East Gippsland Water to purchase 1.24 GWh, which is equivalent to a reduction of 22% of its annual energy needs.

Victorian water corporations are leading the way for other water corporations and industries. This deal is the first of its kind in Australia and is a major step forward towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.


NOTE TO EDITORS: The 13 water corporations that are part of Zero Emissions Water include:

  • Barwon Water
  • Central Highlands Water
  • City West Water
  • Coliban Water
  • East Gippsland Water
  • Southern Rural Water
  • Lower Murray Water
  • South East Water
  • South Gippsland Water
  • Wannon Water
  • Westernport Water
  • Western Water
  • Yarra Valley Water