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Energy efficiency and greenhouse emissions

Knox City Council continues to take steps to reduce our carbon footprint. We also support residents and business to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency and transition to clean energy.

Our ongoing commitment

Council has multiple programs and new initiatives to improve energy efficiency and greenhouse emissions.

Climate change protection plans

In 2001, we joined Cities for Climate Protection. Together, we agreed to lower greenhouse emissions.

Soon after, Knox Council adopted the Knox Greenhouse Action Plan 2003 – 2010.

In 2007, we reduced corporate greenhouse emissions to 30 percent below our 1998/99 levels.

In 2012, Council adopted the Climate Change Response Plan. This continued our work in reducing and adapting to Climate Change.

The plan supports the Council’s efforts in 5 ways:

  • achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals
  • offsetting greenhouse gas emissions
  • adaptation to climate change
  • developing strategic partnerships
  • improving air quality.

In late 2019, Council:

  • reaffirmed our commitment to Climate Change action
  • supported a motion to take urgent action by developing a Climate Response Plan in 2020.

On 27 September 2021, Council adopted the Climate Response Plan 2021–2031 to address the impacts of climate change.

The plan provides a roadmap for:

  • Council to reach net zero emissions by 2030
  • the Knox community to reach net zero emissions by 2040.
Climate Response Plan 2021–2031

On 27 September 2021, Council adopted the Climate Response Plan 2021–2031 to address the impacts of climate change.

The plan provides a roadmap for:

  • Council to reach net zero emissions by 2030
  • the Knox community to reach net zero emissions by 2040.

View the Climate Response Plan 2021-2031

Climate Emergency declaration

On 25 July 2022, Council declared a Climate Emergency, recognised by the global Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation in Action (CEDAMIA).

Energy efficiency upgrades at community facilities

Works included LED light replacements and solar panel installations at small-to-medium community buildings.

In 2019/20, we carried out energy efficiency upgrades to:

  • Murrindal and Liberty Ave Children’s Centre
  • Knox Gardens Pavilion
  • Knoxfield Children’s Centre
  • Carrington Senior Citizens Centre.
Energy Performance Contract (EPC)

Council adopted the Energy Performance Contract in 2019.

This invested $1.85 million into energy efficiency upgrades at:

  • Knox Leisureworks
  • Rowville Community Centre
  • Ferntree Gully Community Arts Centre and Library
  • Knox Community Arts Centre
  • Knox Regional Netball Centre.

These capital works include LED lighting, solar panels and cooling/heating systems.

The upgrades reduce Council’s greenhouse emissions by 45 per cent each year.

It also saves around $210,000 each year in operational and maintenance costs. Reducing our operating costs keeps our fees low for people who enjoy the facilities.

Street light upgrades and renewable energy source

Since 2016, we’ve replaced 10,600 street lights with energy-efficient LED globes. This has reduced our energy use by over 75 percent.

In 2020, Council arranged to buy renewable energy from a Gippsland wind farm.

This energy will power the street lights for nine years, starting from 1 July 2021. Council is looking to save more energy through LED street lights on major roads.

Revolving Energy Fund

Council established this fund in 2008.

It reinvests savings from energy reduction projects into future projects, like:

  • lighting upgrades
  • solar panels
  • external blinds
  • skylights
  • insulation.
Eastern Alliance for Green Action

Knox Council worked with seven neighbouring councils to form the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action.

This alliance enables economies of scale through joint initiatives.

It also helps the Council and community reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure Policy

Council updated this Policy in 2019.

The Policy improves the environmental performance of buildings and infrastructure projects in Knox.

Electric cars and charging stations
In 2019, Council added 3 electric cars to our fleet to reduce fuel emissions.
We are working to install more electric vehicle charging stations across Knox, to support and encourage people to choose zero-emissions transport.
Locations of electric vehicle charging stations can be viewed on the Plugshare website (link to:
Knox Civic Centre carpark has 2 free public electric car charging stations.
JOLT electric vehicle fast charging stations are located at Bayswater train station, Ferntree Gully train stationand Scoresby Village with more being planned. Users can access 15 minutes free charging time each day. If users want to charge longer, there will be a cost and this is managed by JOLT. All construction and operating costs associated with these charging stations are borne by JOLT and delivered at no cost to Council. 
Solar bench

We are trialling a solar powered bench for the community to use at Rowville Community Centre.

Residents can use the solar bench to:

  • charge handheld devices such as smart phones or tablets
  • connect to free WiFi.

The solar bench is the first of its kind in Knox and is powered by the sun.

Programs for Knox residents and business

Council have partnered with 2 major organisations to provide advice and support. 

Energy-saving advice

For residents

My Energy and Water Saver Kits are available for loan through the Eastern Regional Libraries network. The easy-to-use kits come with a guide to help you identify inefficient usage such as water leaks and high-energy use appliances. The kit helps improve energy efficiency and lower your bills. Each kit contains:

  • a thermal imaging camera
  • a power meter
  • a stopwatch
  • a thermometer
  • the Energy Freedom Home Book
  • the CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook
  • an instruction guide

Residents can also access discounted solar power products and rebates via the Solar Savers Program

For businesses

Businesses can get free energy-saving advice through the Business Energy Savers program. Extra financial support is available to small businesses with 1 to 19 fulltime employees until May 2022. Visit the Energy Savers website for further information on government rebates.

Businesses can access discounted solar power products and rebates via the Solar Savers Program

Environmental upgrade loans for business

Council can help your business access an Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) program. This loan will help you save money and improve your economic and environmental performance.

Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) loans for building upgrade works are repaid via quarterly council rates. A lender provides the upfront capital for the works, which the business then repays through the council rates system over periods of up to 20 years.

More about environmental sustainability

Learn more about making your home and business more environmentally sustainable.

Need help?

Contact us and we will come back to you.

Or call our Customer Service team on 9298 8000.

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