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Solar panels on the roof of the Knox Civic Centre

Climate Response

Climate change affects all of us, and we need to take action together to reduce our impact on the planet, and pave the way for a more sustainable future. Knox Council has taken significant steps to reduce our carbon footprint over the years. However, this alone isn’t enough – we also encourage residents and businesses to do the same by offering various programs to assist with waste reduction, improve energy efficiency, and transition to clean energy.

Our ongoing commitment

In 2001, we formally committed to reducing our greenhouse emissions by joining the international campaign – Cities for Climate Protection (CCP). Soon after, Knox Council adopted the Knox Greenhouse Action Plan 2003 – 2010, and achieved the set goal of reducing our corporate greenhouse emissions by 30% below 1998/99 levels in 2007.

In 2012, Council adopted the Climate Change Response Plan to continue our ongoing work in mitigating and adapting to Climate Change. The Plan focuses Council’s efforts in five action approaches, which include achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change, developing strategic partnerships, and improving air quality.

In late 2019, Council reaffirmed our commitment to Climate Change action and unanimously supported a motion to take urgent action by developing a Climate Response Plan in 2020.

Key measures carried out by Council include:

  • Energy efficiency upgrades at community facilities: Works included LED light replacements and solar panel installations at small to medium community buildings. In 2019/20 the following buildings had energy efficiency upgrades: Murrindal and Liberty Ave Children’s Centre, Knox Gardens Pavilion, Knoxfield Children’s Centre, and Carrington Senior Citizens Centre.
  • Energy Performance Contract (EPC): Since 2015, Knox Council has been investigating the reduction of energy use across major Council facilities. After conducting an in-depth feasibility study, Knox Council adopted the Energy Performance Contract in 2019, and invested a total of $1.85M into energy efficiency upgrades at Knox Leisureworks, Rowville Community Centre, Ferntree Community Arts Centre and Library, Knox Community Arts Centre, and Knox Regional Netball Centre. The capital works includes LED lighting, solar panels, and cooling/heating systems, the expected completion date is June 2021. The energy efficiency upgrades will lower Council’s greenhouse emissions by 45% per annum (totalling 1,226 tCO2e), and save around $210,000 per annum in operational and maintenance costs. By reducing our operating costs, fees can be kept low for the community who use and enjoy the facilities.
Solar panels being installed at Ferntree Gully Community Arts Centre
Solar panels at Ferntree Gully Community Arts Centre and Library
Solar panels being installed at Knox Leisureworks
Installation of solar panels at Knox Leisureworks
  • Street light upgrades and renewable energy source: Our street lights make up 50% of Council’s electricity use. Since 2016, we’ve replaced 10,600 street lights with energy-efficient LED globes to reduce energy use by over 75%. In 2020, Knox Council signed a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) to cost-effectively purchase renewable energy from a wind farm in Gippsland, to power the street lights for 9 years, starting from 1 July 2021. Council is now investigating the potential for further savings and energy efficiencies through street lighting LED change over on our major roads.
  • Revolving Energy Fund: Council established this fund in 2008, to reinvest savings from energy reduction projects towards future sustainability projects, including lighting upgrades, solar panels, external blinds, sky lights and insulation.
  • Member of Eastern Alliance for Green Action (EAGA): Knox Council played a key role in developing partnerships with 7 neighbouring Councils to form the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action. This strategic alliance has enabled us to work on joint initiatives that provide economies of scale, and deliver projects to help the council and community reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure Policy: Council updated this policy in 2019 to continue to improve environmental performance of buildings and infrastructure projects in Knox.
  • Introduced electric cars to Council’s Fleet and installed public electric car charging stations: In 2019, Council added three electric cars to our fleet (Two Nissan Leafs and One Hyundai Ioniq) to reduce fuel emissions. Two public electric car charging stations have been installed in the Knox Civic Centre carpark.
Council's electric car
Council's electric car
Council's electric car charging point
Knox Civic Centre's EV Charger

Sustainability programs for Knox residents

  • Energy Saving Advice from Australian Energy Foundation (AEF): Residents can receive free advice from AEF’s energy advisors, and get connected to reliable suppliers in the industry.
    View more information.
  • Solar Savers Program: This guided program makes getting solar easy for residents. The Solar Savers team will check if solar is suitable for your home, provide a quote, and install the solar system. Additional support is available for pension and low income households.
    View more information.
  • Public electric car charging stations at Knox Civic Centre: The public are welcome to re-charge their electric cars for free when they visit the Civic Centre.
    For more information on the charging station, please visit

Sustainability programs for Knox businesses

  • Energy Saving Advice from Australian Energy Foundation (AEF): Businesses can receive free advice from AEF’s energy advisors in a number of areas, and get connected to reliable suppliers in the industry.
    View more information.
  • Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF): Businesses looking to do building upgrades to improve environmental performance can apply for this loan and make repayments in the quarterly Council rates.
    View more information.
  • ASPIRE: A manufacturing 'industrial ecology' project with partner Councils to help manufacturing businesses identify opportunities to reuse waste products. View more information.
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