Regional Projects - December 2013

By: Regional Projects Coordinator, Daniela Gambotto...

Street lighting and Sustainability

Following a busy period in street lighting, things have quietened down a bit this month.  We have finalised our initial comments on the Service Level Agreement, which Ergon Energy is currently drafting.  Some of our key concerns include:

• Identification of Key Performance Indicators for six monthly reporting purposes, including upgrading of fixtures which have reached the end of their useful life, and detailed maintenance schedules;

• Improved client relations for Local Government customers;

• Improved fault reporting requirements to take the load off Local GovernmentS receiving these complaints.

The first draft is due for completion before Christmas so I am anticipating another opportunity for input over the coming weeks.  Of course, we are not Ergon Energy's only customers so it will be interesting to see how many of our issues/concerns are covered in the first draft.

Still on the topic of street lighting ... the Commonwealth is seeking submissions on the establishment of an Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) as a central part of its Direct Action Plan for reducing carbon emissions.  The ERF appears to be the replacement program for the previous Community Energy Efficiency Program which actively sought to fund Local Governments and community groups for energy efficient upgrades including street lighting.  FNQROC considers the new ERF must necessarily continue to support programs which see the installation of energy efficient street lighting and we have made a submission to the Department of Environment in this regard.  When you consider how many street lights there are across this country, if installing energy efficient street lights is not direct action, then what is?

And my final word on energy ... discussions with Ergon Energy staff have highlighted they have resources available to review accounts for energy users to ensure the most efficient tariffs are being applied.  As the Queensland Competition Authority reviews the tariffs every year, it is recommended this process be undertaken annually. This exercise was completed for the region some years back, and considerable savings were identified.  At the moment, I am collecting account data for the top energy users in each Council area.  This information will be sent to Ergon Energy which will undertake the review and report back to us.  I'm hoping further savings for Councils can be identified early in the new year by identifying which tariffs are the most appropriate for Councils' highest energy use facilities.

Regional Events

As mentioned last month, I have been drafting some Best Practice Guidelines for events to be held in the FNQ region. This document will ensure participants who come to events in FNQ experience a similar level of service as they move through the region.  Matters for inclusion relate to facilities provisions, coordinated approaches to obtaining required permits and promotion, and, key contacts in the FNQ region.  I have been liaising with some of the big event coordinators to obtain an idea of what minimum standards they apply to make their events a success.  This should be finalised before Christmas and forwarded to stakeholders for further input.