A study into a City of Newcastle move to 100 per cent renewable power has found the switch could save ratepayers millions.
Newcastle councillors on Tuesday flicked the switch on the move, approving a staff recommendation to "move to 100% renewable electricity supply for CN operations from 2020, subject to confirmation of cost effectiveness".
Council staff had reported that market volatility and structural changes meant traditional electricity contracts of between one and three years "are no longer a low-risk approach".
The council commissioned the study in April and on Tuesday revealed it found the change would deliver savings of $3.8 million to $4.8 million if the power was sourced either directly or via a retailer from green sources.
The council's electricity contract is due to expire at the end of the year.
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said before Tuesday's council meeting that the time was right for a change.
"It's City of Newcastle's aim to be a leader in renewable energy as part of our strategy to be a global smart city," the Lord Mayor said.
"We've engaged community groups, businesses, industry representatives and trade unions regarding the impact of shifting 100 percent of the City's operational electricity to renewable energy sources.
"Around 70 per cent of the respondents to our Winter Community Survey supported the city moving towards a 100 per cent renewable energy target, which sends us a strong message."
The council already uses half a megawatt of solar power across its 10 sites. Another five megawatts is due to come online when the Summerhill Waste Management Centre solar farm starts operation.
"Combined, this will provide for between 50 to 65 per cent of the council's renewable electricity supply, which puts us on track to meet the 100 per cent goal were aiming towards," Cr Nelmes said.
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