Ballarat businesses now have more ways to switch to 100 per cent renewable energy and save

Local business owners can now shift to a new 100 per cent renewable energy program to cut their emissions and costs via two programs – the Business Renewables Buyers Group and the Ballarat Energy Network.

The City of Ballarat has joined forces with more than 50 Victorian councils to create the Business Renewables Buyers Group, which helps businesses access more affordable renewable deals.

The group is supported by an external facilitator experienced at purchasing electricity generated by renewable energy, such as a solar or wind farm. The method is set to cut through barriers associated with the switch, such as complexity, time and cost.

The initiative is open to businesses that consume more than 500MWh (megawatt hour) of electricity each year – spending about $100,000 per annum.

The energy collective leverages off the City of Ballarat’s experience in the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO), the largest emissions reduction project by local governments in Australia.

The initiative also compliments the Committee for Ballarat’s recently launched Ballarat Energy Network (BEN), a community-driven program that features 100 per cent locally generated renewable energy for business and industry.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson encouraged local businesses to get involved to reduce their environmental impact and save money.

“The Business Renewables Buyers Group is a local government initiative that helps businesses reduce their emissions and their impact on the environment while also securing long-term, stable pricing from the energy market,” he said.

“Ballarat and regional businesses now have more ways to embrace renewable energy with two great initiatives providing more choice and opportunity.”

The Ballarat Energy Network aims to aggregate locally generated renewable energy and distribute it locally, as well as trade it on the National Energy Market.

Committee for Ballarat Chief Executive Officer Michael Poulton said there was great renewable potential in Ballarat.

“To achieve energy resilience for regional communities like ours, the grid must evolve to maximise the capability of distributed generation assets like roof top solar and storage systems,” he said.

“These will play an increasing significant role as business, industry and the community in our region, transition to an economy driven by 100 per cent renewable energy.”

The shift to renewable energy is a flagship of the City of Ballarat’s commitment to transition to a net zero municipality.

In 2018, Ballarat Council acknowledged the climate emergency and the need for urgent action. In 2019, Council adopted the Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan 2019-2025 for its corporate emissions.

In 2022, Council adopted the Ballarat Net Zero Emissions Plan, with an aspirational target of reaching net zero emissions by 2030 for the Ballarat community.

The initiative also aligns with the City of Ballarat’s Council Plan 2021-2025 Goal 1 – ‘An environmentally sustainable future’.

Visit the Business Renewables Buying Group page, hosted by the City of Yarra, to learn more about this initiative.

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