Saving energy is a low-cost way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency also helps contain electricity costs by reducing the need for costly new energy infrastructure.
Reducing emissions in NSW requires that we not only lower the carbon intensity of our energy supply but also improve our energy efficiency. Being more efficient in how we use energy has been described as Australia’s untapped energy resource — a means to improve the productivity and efficiency of the economy, as well as an important element in moving towards a prosperous low-carbon future.
NSW 2021 - A plan to make NSW number one commits the state to assisting business and households to realise annual energy savings of 16,000 GWh by 2020 compared to ‘business as usual’ trends.
These energy efficiency measures will create demand for more energy-efficient goods and services by targeting market barriers that restrict the uptake of energy efficiency.
Key initiatives for energy efficiency
The NSW Energy Efficiency Strategy
comprises a range of strategies that support households, businesses and government agencies to reduce energy use across the state.
The NSW Energy Savings Scheme
provides financial incentives to businesses and households to reduce electricity use. They can save energy by replacing old appliances and equipment with high efficiency models, such as commercial lighting, heating and cooling, domestic refrigerators and industrial motors.
The NSW Government Sustainability Policy
sets targets and strategies to help government agencies save energy and water and provides a framework for them to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.
The Building Sustainability Index
(BASIX) ensures that new and upgraded homes produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions by setting performance standards for energy and water.
Environmental upgrade agreements
promote investment in environmental upgrade works in commercial and multi-residential strata buildings to improve their energy, water and environmental efficiency.
The NSW Government introduced legislation in May 2005 requiring high energy users and local councils in NSW to prepare Energy Savings Action Plans
. These involve determining current energy use, reviewing management, undertaking a detailed technical review, and assessing and identifying savings measures.
Minimum Energy Performance Standards
(MEPS) is a national standard-setting process for the energy efficiency of appliances. It keeps the worst performing electrical appliances out of Australia and gives consumers information to help them choose more efficient appliances. MEPS programs have become mandatory in Australia as a result of state government legislation and regulations which give force to the relevant Australian Standards
The National Strategy on Energy Efficiency is a 10-year strategy that includes measures such as improving building standards for commercial buildings; phasing out electric hot water heaters; benchmarking energy bills so households can compare their electricity consumption; and making it mandatory to disclose the energy efficiency of office buildings to interested buyers and tenants.
NSW is implementing the strategy with the Australian Government and other states and territories.
Page last updated: 26 February 2013