Renewable jobs grow as ACT drives down emissions from government operations by 17 per cent in three years
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Renewable jobs grow as ACT drives down emissions from government operations by 17 per cent in three years

Jobs growth in the ACT renewable energy sector in the past six years was 12 times faster than the national average, a report into the territory government's action on climate change has revealed.

The Minister's Report into Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction also showed the rate of job growth in the ACT's renewables sector was six times higher than any other state and territory, as the government invested $12 million into a renewable energy industry development strategy.

In the year to July, ACT government departments consumed 155,002,072 kWh of electricity, about 5 per cent of which was renewable.

In the year to July, ACT government departments consumed 155,002,072 kWh of electricity, about 5 per cent of which was renewable.

Photo: David Gray

Ahead of the COAG Energy Council meeting on Wednesday, climate change minister Shane Rattenbury said he would push other states and territories to take up their own renewable energy targets.

"We must not allow the federal government's inaction to limit what we can achieve at a state and territory level. The ACT is a great example of what subnational governments can achieve. We are on track to meet our 100 per cent renewable electricity target by 2020 and to become Australia's first zero emission jurisdiction by 2050," Mr Rattenbury said.

Emissions from government operations have fallen 17 per cent since 2012-2013, the report also revealed. The ACT government is aiming to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2020.

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In the year to July, ACT government departments consumed 155,002,072 kWh of electricity, about 5 per cent of which was renewable.

Territory and Municipal Services contributed the bulk of the ACT government's greenhouse gas emissions, however the directorate trialled a carbon budget in the past fiscal year.

Enough methane was harvested from landfills at Mugga Lane and West Belconnen to power 3000 ACT homes.

The amount of electricity chewed up by Manuka Oval and GIO stadium fell by 9 per cent, with a continued rollout of LED lighting and new smart metering at GIO stadium.

The stadium also 72 solar panels installed while the arboretum will get a loan under the Carbon Neutral Government Fund to enable the works depot to be powered off-grid by a solar-battery system.

Ainslie Fire Station became the first carbon neutral fire station with an upgrade to LED lighting and motion, timed and photo-sensors.

All external, walkway and security lighting at the Alexander Maconochie Centre has also been upgraded to LEDs, saving around saving of 46,500 kWh per year.

The Canberra Institute of Technology reduced its paper consumption across all campuses by 21 per cent. CIT's hair and beauty division also partnered with Sustainable Salons to divert 95 per cent of waste, including hair, from the salons for reuse and recycling.

More than 670,000 tones of carbon emissions were saved by the Actsmart Low Income Energy Program.

The program has installed around 900,0000 light bulbs, 90,000 standby power controllers and 48,000 door seals in around 70,000 Canberra homes.

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Times, covering ACT politics.

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