Think local and battery storage to reduce carbon footprint

NEW data has shown the North Coast is doing its part to reduce carbon emissions, as figures show an eight percent decline in electricity consumption over the past two years.

The amount of CO2 being emitted from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie dropped a staggering 200,000 tonnes, from 2.6 million in 2010/11 to 2.4 million in 2012/13.

Forum convenor Mark Byrne said the reduction was likely due to the high uptake of rooftop solar systems on the North Coast.

He said another factor was households and businesses being more energy efficient in response to skyrocketing electricity prices.

"The electricity sector accounts for over one-third of Australia's greenhouse emissions, so the decline in both peak demand and total consumption is good news," Mr Byrne said.

"It's in line with the seven per cent reduction in national electricity sector emissions after the introduction of the carbon price in 2012."

But he said the trend was unlikely to continue.

"Mild summers and winters over the last few years have also played a part, and this summer's heatwaves are creating a surge in consumption as people switch on their air-conditioners," Mr Byrne said.

"It is therefore critical that we do whatever we can as individuals, communities and businesses to reduce our emissions to help reduce the severity of climate change.

"Most of our electricity still comes from outside the region, but there's a lot more scope for us to meet our own energy needs with solar energy, along with the emerging bioenergy industry.

"This year, keep an eye out for affordable battery systems to store solar energy for evening and overnight usage, as well as innovative ways to buy local energy without being completely tied to a major retailer, such as community solar farms."

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