Energy 'failure' a win for Yarra

YARRA City council failed to achieve its ambitious target to cut energy use 30 per cent by July.

The council recently reported it had cut energy use 19.5 per cent by June 30.

It fell short of its target because some programs took longer than expected to take effect .

A major delay was in setting up co-generation plants, which produce electricity and heat, at two of the council's leisure centres.

The Collingwood centre's plant was switched on in June but Fitzroy won't be on until February.

A new energy-efficient air-conditioning system installed at Collingwood Town Hall reduced energy consumption .

Mayor Jackie Fristacky acknowledged the goal was ambitious.

She said the 19.5 per cent cut in energy use was a major achievement and the target was achievable.

"While we didn't hit 30 per cent, we're making the right changes to reduce energy consumption and bring the organisation's emissions down," she said.

The council set its target in 2008 to reduce carbon emissions and energy use. It also set the target to be carbon neutral by this year.

The council expects to receive official accreditation and be declared a carbon-neutral organisation by the end of the year.

The council hopes to hit its original target by June 30 and is aiming for a 50 per cent reduction by 2015.

Friends of the Earth Melbourne campaign co-ordinator Cam Walker said the City of Yarra remained a leader in local government in the area of climate change and sustainability.

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