Green shire greener

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - An­gelique Pat­ter­son

GO­ING green is one way to help re­duce the cost of liv­ing, and the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil is leading the way.

Last year the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing went green, sav­ing about $20,000 in elec­tric­ity prices by chang­ing to eco- friendly light­ing.

The ini­tia­tive is con­tin­u­ing with $250,000 al­lo­cated in the re­cent Cap­i­tal Works Bud­gets for the coun­cil’s Green Build­ings Pro­gram.

Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fice/ Strat­egy and Pol­icy Co-or­di­na­tor Ker­rie Hawkes said the coun­cil was start­ing a pro­gram to make changes to the build­ings and other fa­cil­i­ties to re­duce en­ergy costs.

‘‘It’s early days yet and we will be work­ing to iden­tify which build­ings pro­vide the best re­turn on in­vest­ment. We will also look at the idea of a re­volv­ing fund so en­ergy sav­ings are fed back into the fund to as­sist in fur­ther projects,’’ she said.

‘‘The sorts of en­ergy sav­ing ideas we are look­ing at are so­lar pan­els, light fit­tings and air­con­di­tion­ing, just to name a few.’’

Ms Hawkes said as part of the re­view, coun­cil would de­velop man­age­ment plans for coun­cil build­ings to iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­ple­ment changes that were both en­vi­ron­men­tally and fi­nan­cially ben­e­fi­cial.

‘‘ With es­ca­lat­ing en­ergy costs, im­ple­ment­ing en­ergy ef­fi­cien­cies in coun­cil build­ings will not only see a re­duc­tion in en­ergy con­sump­tion, we will also have the op­por­tu­nity to re­duce our im­pact upon the en­vi­ron­ment and pro­vide h e a l t h i e r , im­proved com­mu­nity spa­ces,’’ she said.

House and unit own­ers are also en­cour­aged to go green to re­duce costs, how­ever Archer Body Cor­po­rate North Queens­land Re­gional Man­ager Stephen McCulloch said unit own­ers were fac­ing dif­fi­cul­ties con­vinc­ing body cor­po­rate com­mit­tees.

Mr McCulloch said there were three main points unit own­ers should con­sider be­fore ap­proach­ing their body cor­po­rate about so­lar pan­els.

‘‘Sys­tem cost is of­ten the most dis­puted fac­tor among unit own­ers in the so­lar de­ci­sion-mak­ing process,’’ he said.

‘‘ The com­mit­tee should in­ves­ti­gate and shop around for the best price and sys­tem avail­able and then rec­om­mend an ap­pro­pri­ate sys­tem for ap­proval by own­ers at a gen­eral meet­ing of the body cor­po­rate.

‘‘The com­mit­tee needs to be thor­oughly in­volved in this re­search and must work to keep all own­ers in­formed of the ben­e­fits of so­lar to the build­ing. It’s im­por­tant to con­sider where the so­lar pan­els will be placed and how the place­ment will af­fect the struc­ture and aes­thet­ics of the build­ing in all weather con­di­tions.’’

Mr McCulloch said many own­ers would make their de­ci­sion based on how much money they could save and how quickly the ini­tial ex­pense could be paid off.

‘‘The good thing about so­lar is that own­ers can of­ten see the sav­ings by the next bill cy­cle, which pro­vides some in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion,’’ he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.