THE community has shown a great level of interest in Bathurst Regional Council's plans to increase its usage of renewable energy into the future.
Earlier this year, council placed its draft Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) on public exhibition to give people an opportunity to provide feedback on council's direction for the future.
During the exhibition period, a total of 19 submissions were received, a number which councillor John Fry has described as a "vast amount".
"It just shows there's an incredibly high level of interest in renewable energy and subsequently in climate change and adaptation," he said.
A new report on the REAP was presented to the June council meeting, recommending that the document be adopted.
In the report, the director of Environmental, Planning and Building Services, Neil Southorn, said the feedback received in the submissions was generally supportive of council's plans to rely more on renewable sources.
"The submissions are, without exception, in favour of council increasing the proportion of renewable energy in its energy mix," he said.
"Many of the submissions advocate for higher targets and a faster transition."
The following energy efficiency and renewable electricity targets are included in the REAP:
- Energy efficiency target - 15 per cent reduction in electricity consumption in comparison with 2018-19 consumption of 15,069 megawatt hours
- Renewable target one - 25 per cent of council's electricity consumption to be from renewable sources by 2023
- Renewable target two - 50 per cent of council's electricity consumption to be from renewable sources by 2025
Mr Southorn has confirmed that the REAP can be amended and updated as new information and technology comes to light and said one of the mechanisms included to allow for this to occur is a mid-plan review for 2023.