What is the Climate Change Fund?

The Climate Change Fund was established in 2007 under the Energy and Utilities Administration Act 1987. Since 2007, the fund has been helping the people of New South Wales save energy and reduce their electricity bills, expand the use of renewable energy and better prepare for climate change.

Each year, all electricity distribution businesses are required to pay contributions to the fund, and these, in turn, are passed through to electricity consumers.

Why have a strategic plan for the Climate Change Fund?

This strategic plan establishes investment priorities for the Climate Change Fund over the next five years to help deliver on the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework.

The strategic plan provides the policy certainty and time needed for the private and public sectors to make the transition to a net zero emissions future and adapt to a changing climate.

The strategic plan will also facilitate structured program monitoring and evaluation by providing consistent benchmarks for measuring success.

How were potential actions in the Draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan developed?

The potential actions in the Draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan were developed following a series of workshops with independent energy and climate change experts from the private sector and government, including members of the NSW Climate Change Council. The workshops examined the role of the NSW Government in managing climate change impacts, and energy as it relates to climate change. The outputs from these workshops were developed into potential actions and tested against criteria such as:

  • do they address a market or other barrier not otherwise addressed
  • are the benefits likely to outweigh costs
  • what is the appropriate role for the NSW Government
  • are effective policy mechanisms available
  • do they align with other NSW Government priorities
  • do they align with the purposes of the Climate Change Fund.

How will the government partner with the public, private and community sectors to deliver the strategic plan?

The success of the strategic plan will depend on strong partnerships with the private and community sectors. For example, partnerships with the finance and insurance sectors can help make private finance available for households and businesses to undertake energy efficiency upgrades and to adapt to climate change. Partnerships with community service providers can make social housing more climate wise or climate resilient for vulnerable members of our community.

The success of the strategic plan will also depend on strong partnerships with local councils, and through them, with local communities across New South Wales.

What has the Climate Change Fund previously funded?

The Climate Change Fund has previously supported programs to improve energy efficiency under the NSW Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP) and the NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP). It has also supported renewable energy programs under the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) and climate change adaptation programs such as NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service’s Enhanced Bushfire Management Program.

Programs funded under the Climate Change Fund have delivered a wealth of benefits to New South Wales. Households, businesses, community groups and government have saved $197 million a year on energy and water bills from savings actions to date. Australia’s biggest solar power station was built at Nyngan and the third largest built at Broken Hill.

How does the strategic plan relate to A Draft Plan to Save NSW Energy and Money?

A Draft Plan to Save NSW Energy and Money is the NSW Government’s plan for achieving our target to realise annual energy savings of 16,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2020. The Climate Change Fund will provide the funding source to implement the proposed options, should the government decide to do so.

Each of the proposed options in A Draft Plan to Save NSW Energy and Money fits within the Draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan. There is more detail on the options in A Plan to Save NSW Energy and Money.

The strategic plan includes other potential actions for energy efficiency that extend beyond or don’t directly contribute to the 2020 energy savings target.

The NSW Government will develop a new action plan in 2017 for national leadership in energy efficiency to deliver on potential actions and options in both plans.