Warrnambool City Council's drive to source 40 per cent of its power from green energy has hit a snag - a contract delay forcing it to seek a power deal elsewhere.
In the meantime, about $460,000 worth of power will be sourced via a Victoria Government contract that may not include any power from renewable energy.
With councillors just four month ago declaring a climate emergency, Cr Peter Hulin questioned why green power options hadn't been considered.
"The lack of green power options, how does that equate with our climate emergency stance?" Cr Hulin asked.
His question drew laughter from those in the public gallery at last Monday's council meeting with someone commenting "that had to be asked".
"We all realise there's a climate emergency, we all made that declaration, but it all comes down to dollars and cents, we're not that keen," Cr Hulin said.
However, the council said it was not permitted to purchase power the same way households could, and it was left with little option but to sign up to the new temporary deal.
A six-month wait for approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been blamed for the delay, and with only 12-month temporary power contracts on offer the hold-up will blow out to 12 months.
Cr David Owen said it was extremely disappointing that power couldn't be sourced from green energy.
He said 60 per cent of power coming from green sources would have been better than 40 per cent and he hoped that could be renegotiated next year.
The council's director of infrastructure Scott Cavanagh said that as part of the collaborative tender process for the green power deal, there was a requirement to get approval from the ACCC to ensure it was not anti-competitive.
He said the delay in getting approval had been longer than expected, and that meant the council had to move quickly on securing another contract.
"We had very limited options available to us," he said.
"Really, we didn't have much choice...so it's unfortunate.
"That's not to say the agreement we're accessing doesn't use some green power, it's just not explicit in the contract."
Mr Cavanagh said the intent was still to purchase 40 per cent of the council's power from green sources as soon as possible.
Cr Sue Cassidy said agreements didn't always go to plan and it was "probably just as well" that the council could get onto another contract without "paying through the roof".
Cr Robert Anderson said Warrnambool wasn't the only council or shire impacted by the delay.
The council's chief executive officer Peter Schneider said it, along with 30 other Victorian municipalities, had endeavoured to make a bulk purchase of renewable energy through the Municipal Association of Victoria.
"Council does not, and is not permitted to, buy power in the same way households can," Mr Schneider said.
"In this instance council has been able to access a Victorian Government power contract that has been through an approved procurement process."
The power contract - which supplies four council properties such as the Arc Stadium and Surfside Caravan Park - is worth about $460,000.
The motion to commit to an interim contract was passed by council with only Cr Hulin voting against.
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