What is the 16,000 GWh target?
In 2011, the NSW Government committed to an ambitious target of helping NSW households and businesses achieve 16,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual energy savings by 2020. In 2013, the NSW Government released an Energy Efficiency Action Plan that restated this target. Meeting this target was one of the NSW Government’s election commitments in 2015. This target is the equivalent of saving enough energy to power over 2.6 million NSW homes for a year.
Significant progress has been made, but more action is needed to meet the 16,000 GWh energy savings target. Past and current NSW and national programs are expected to deliver 14,637 GWh of electricity savings towards the target in 2020. The policy options we’re consulting on in this plan aim to deliver the remaining 1363 GWh towards the NSW energy savings target, equivalent to powering over 225,000 NSW homes for a year.
How will this plan assist households?
There are 3 million homes in New South Wales. Together, they use around 18,500 gigawatt hours of electricity a year, or 27% of NSW’s total electricity use. In 2014–15, a typical NSW household paid, on average, around $1876 a year on electricity bills.
The preferred options in this plan are estimated to save households around $7.8 billion on their energy bills. This will help reduce bill stress and place downward pressure on the cost of living, particularly for vulnerable households. These preferred options include:
- providing energy ratings for homes at point of sale
- improving energy performance of tenanted homes
- upgrading social housing by reviewing and expanding the Home Energy Action Program
- accelerating energy efficient appliance standards under the national Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) program.
How will this plan assist local government?
The NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP) is working to save government agencies energy and money. However, there are also big opportunities for local governments to save energy and money.
Helping councils to implement energy-saving opportunities can benefit the community through downward pressure on council rates or by freeing up government funds for frontline services through preferred options for investigation, including:
- supporting councils to upgrade public lighting
- supporting councils to adopt the NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy.
How will this plan assist NSW businesses?
Businesses are expected to use 45,000 gigawatt hours of electricity in 2016, or around 67% of total NSW electricity use.
Helping businesses to implement energy efficiency projects provides significant benefits. Energy efficiency avoids spending money on wasted energy and frees up business resources for more productive uses. This lowers the cost of doing business, helping grow NSW businesses, grow the NSW economy, and keep jobs in New South Wales.
The preferred options in this plan are estimated to save businesses and industry $7.3 billion in energy bills between now and 2050. These preferred options include:
- improving energy standards for new commercial buildings and advocating for new standards
- investing in market capacity to deliver innovative energy efficiency products and services for small business
- supporting large energy users to investigate energy savings opportunities
- investigating energy standards for new state significant developments and major infrastructure
- accelerating energy efficient appliance standards under the national Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards program
- investigating the introduction of energy standards for retail tenancies.
How does this relate to the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework proposal and Draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan?
A key recommendation in both the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework and the Draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan is to develop a new energy efficiency action plan.
A Draft Plan to Save NSW Energy and Money will implement actions that boost energy productivity, put downward pressure on household and business energy bills, and capture co-benefits, in line with the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework.
Your feedback on the Draft Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan and A Draft Plan Save NSW Energy and Money will be considered in the development of a new energy efficiency action plan for New South Wales.