The Queensland government has a target to reach at least 50 per cent renewable energy generation in Queensland by 2030.

Queensland councils are big consumers, and users, of energy. Its estimated councils spent $250 million a year on this vital asset.

What does the rise of renewable energy mean for the local government sector in Queensland? How can the LGAQ assist your council?

Our energy work for councils

The LGAQ via Peak Services has several tailored services on offer for councils to help reduce overheads and streamline major renewable energy projects.

  • Project leaders: Peak has led the sector in development and implementation of major renewable energy projects, with strong expertise in renewable energy technology.
  • Geothermal: Peak is working with several councils in regional Queensland to develop geothermal power plants to provide a reliable electricity source for local communities. A total of 20 sites are earmarked for future projects with potential electricity cost savings for councils ranging between $5 million and $20 million over 20 years. 
  • Community renewable energy projects: Peak and McKinlay Shire Council partnered to develop a community focused solar PV system to deliver affordable and reliable power to local businesses.
  • Energy consumption reviews and demand management: A detailed analysis of energy consumption for council assets can result in significant cost savings through demand management initiatives and embedded generation such as rooftop solar and battery storage.
  • Energy charges: Energy charges are a major cost for councils and tariffs are a complex area with potential long-term impacts. Peak Services provide services for councils to undertake reviews and audits to ensure councils secure the most competitive energy prices available.

What about policy?

Energy features heavily as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s election commitments. In addition to the 50% renewable energy target, progressing the development of hydro generation in Queensland is part of the Government’s wish list.

The Government has also pledged to roll out renewable energy solutions for remote and isolated communities in Queensland.

In 2017, a proposal by the LGAQ for local government to take control of street lighting to implement a state-wide world class system smart lighting that would reduce electricity consumption by at least 40 percent was rejected by Energy Queensland.

In a motion passed at 2017 LGAQ Annual Conference reinforced this proposal as a priority for Queensland councils.

What other opportunities are there?

The LG Sherlock initiative is currently seeking expressions of interest from councils to participate in the staged development of a web-based tool that will guide councils' optimal usage of electricity.

The tool will initially focus on billing anomaly detection to cut costs and improve energy efficiency. Read more and express interest here.

Councils are eligible to cut their power bills by taking advantage of a Palaszczuk Government $16 million funding bucket that provides free independent energy audits, including advice on energy management and energy tariffs.

Toowoomba Regional Council, Cairns Regional Council and Cassowary Coast Regional Council are among the early local government beneficiaries of the scheme. Applications for another 30 customers are set to open next month.