The Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) is the largest ever emissions reduction project undertaken by local government in Australia.
The transformative initiative enabled 46 Victorian councils to switch to 100% renewable energy from mid 2021, with the ‘buyers group’ aggregating approximately half of the entire sector’s electricity load. This group has grown to 51 councils. A 12-month evaluation of VECO demonstrated that these councils saved approximately 172,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the period, which is equivalent to powering up to 35,000 homes or taking 66,000 cars off the road each year.
VECO’s benefits for EAGA members
Six EAGA members are participating in the project to secure renewable energy to power municipal offices, leisure centres, streetlights and community buildings. Councils participating in this project recognise the benefits of renewable energy for local economies and job creation, environmental purposes, and reducing costs.
The project was initiated and facilitated by the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances and was initially administered via Darebin City Council, who led group procurement activities for the landmark Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Glen Eira City Council then led the project for two years, and Brimbank City Council will now take on administrative responsibility for VECO.
The initiative is a culmination of a number of initiatives and capacity building programs delivered by the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances since 2015, including the establishment of a cross Alliance Electricity Contract working group in 2017. Read more about this work program here.