The City of Whittlesea has reaped economic and environmental benefits since becoming a signatory last year to the Victorian Energy Collaboration, VECO.

Council has reported a reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 13,944 tonnes and savings of an estimated $216,726 on its power bills.

The VECO agreement features a nine and half year contract with the Snowy Hydro-owned retailer Red Energy to supply renewable energy to 51 participating Victorian councils.

The investment in renewables and emissions reduction has delivered electricity that was about 25 per cent cheaper during the agreement’s first year.

Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the VECO agreement was a key component of council’s commitment to meeting its sustainability goal under the Whittlesea 2040 plan.

“This is a wonderful result for our community and continues the amazing work council is doing to address climate change and create a sustainable environment,” she said.

The renewable energy for participating councils is provided by two wind farms in Victoria – Dundonnell Wind Farm near Mortlake and Murra Warra II Wind Farm near Horsham.

Red Energy chief executive Iain Graham said the VECO contract was a great example of where collaboration across local government could achieve valuable savings on energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

“At a time of tremendous volatility in the energy market, the deal has delivered 51 councils reliable renewable energy,” he said.