CVGA Energy Models for Local Councils - a decision makers guide

Donna Luckman • 15 June 2020

This prepared for the Central Victoria Greenhouse Alliance by Point Advisory this guide provides councils with the necessary tools to investigate alternative electricity generation and/or procurement strategies. It enables councils to make more informed decisions when determining which options are most beneficial to them, in their own specific circumstances, in terms of cost minimisation, emissions reductions, and community benefits. The potential risks involved with each option are also considered. This guide can be used as a resource for procurement staff, sustainability staff, councillors, and executive managers within council, as well as external energy project developers and community energy groups dealing with councils.  

The guide puts forward a decision-making framework to help councils determine which alternative approaches to energy procurement are best suited to their needs. By considering the pros and cons of each option, and how these relate to your council’s corporate objectives, you can decide which alternative procurement model is most suited to your specific circumstances. 

The decision-making framework is based on the following criteria: 

  • Ownership – whether council directly owns the powerplant or not 
  • Newness – whether council contracts with an existing powerplant, or a new one 
  • Exclusivity – whether the arrangement just involves one council as the energy buyer, or aggregates several buyers 
  • Location – whether the powerplant is located in the local government area or further afield 
  • Technology – whether a specific generation technology, such as solar PV or wind, is favoured 
  • Siting – whether or not the powerplant can be situated on council-owned land 
  • Contract structure – whether council favours a ‘physical’ or ‘financial’ contracting arrangement. 

Individual councils’ responses to these criteria will determine the energy procurement model(s) best suited to their circumstances.  

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