What is Marlborough District Council Doing?
Council participates in a number of Energy Efficiency Schemes that provide advances to ratepayers to install clean home heating, water heating, solar power, and insulation in their homes. The scheme has been running since 2010 and has assisted over 1,000 ratepayers in that time.
Council's energy usage is monitored and a number of actions to increase efficiency and reduce usage have been implemented:
- retrofitting street lights with LED bulbs (including MDC buildings and the airport)
- retrofitting MDC offices with energy efficient air conditioning
- eco rated vehicles in the main Council fleet
- consideration of energy consumption in the design of major infrastructure (e.g. pump stations)
Further work is also being undertaken, including:
- conversion of waste streams to energy
- options for electric vehicles in future fleet leases
- energy efficient building and plant design
- plant operations being scheduled for low energy use times of day
- building management and systems policies to reduce energy consumption
Council staff also maintain a watching brief for national and local energy efficiency initiatives.
Council flares its gas created at Bluegums and is a participant in the Emissions Trading Scheme. A lot of work has gone into waste minimisation and actions to divert waste from the waste scheme into reuse and recycling.
Council's forestry portfolio acts to mitigate against emissions we produce (so long as the forests are replanted).
Council owns around 3000 hectares of land under forest production. The properties were eligible for one-off pre-1990 carbon credits under the Emissions Trading Scheme. Council still holds these credits. The forestry off-sets emissions caused by Council activities.
Council is factoring adaptation into its forward planning. Marlborough is lucky compared to some other regions in not yet having faced significant impacts from climate change. This allows us a window of time to research, assess the risks and, together with our communities, put plans in place to deal with the impacts. It also allows us to learn from other experiences around the country.