Energy efficiency to slash greenhouse emissions and bills

Energy Efficiency Master Plan

Click to read the Master Plan

Last night, Council endorsed the City's Energy Efficiency Master Plan to go on public exhibition.

The analysis, conducted by energy experts pitt&sherry, shows how to improve the efficiency of buildings - including the City's own properties - commercial office space, and residential blocks and accommodation. It could save us more than $600 million in energy bills and provide a major contribution to achieving the City's goal of reducing carbon pollution 70 per cent below 2006 levels by 2030.

In developing its energy efficiency master plan, the City conducted a detailed analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for the city's buildings. The research offers a detailed and practical understanding of current energy performance and aims for a low energy future through a range of actions. These include:

  • Safeguarding energy and emissions savings by maintaining existing core programs and standards;
  • Improving compliance of building standards and codes;
  • Providing education and training for planners, property owners, tenants, building managers and assessors.
  • Improving energy efficiency in buildings through retrofit and tune-up programs;
  • Making it easier to access finance and incentives for improved energy efficiency;
  • Developing new energy efficiency ratings;
  • Increasing minimum performance of new buildings;
  • Improve equity by advocating on behalf of low-income households; and
  • Show by doing, through best practice for City-owned buildings;

The City has already retrofitted 45 of its properties to reduce electricity and water use and generate operational savings of over $1 million a year.

The plan aligns with the NSW Government's NSW Energy Efficiency Action Plan to improve energy productivity and remove the barriers preventing people from saving energy. NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes welcomed the plan last night, saying:

We congratulate the City of Sydney for its new master plan to increase environmental performance and economic productivity in Sydney. This policy helps agencies reduce their operating costs through innovative energy efficiency strategies.

Climate Council Head Councillor Tim Flannery also welcomed the plan:

It's fantastic to see the City of Sydney joining many governments internationally in taking further strong action on climate change. One in 10 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions come from burning electricity for Australia's commercial buildings so this kind of innovation can really make a difference.

As we know, the time for action on climate change is now. While many governments are doing little, the City is already delivering and demonstrating significant action. Cities make up two per cent of the earth's surface but they account for 80 per cent of carbon emissions so action in cities is essential.

In the face of inaction from the Federal Government, we're calling on other Australian cities to pick up our plan and help us get on with the job of tackling climate change. We have the most ambitious emissions reductions target of any Australian government - to cut emissions by 70 per cent by 2030, based on 2006 levels, and take significant action on climate change.

The plan forms part of the City's suite of green infrastructure plans including renewable energy, advanced waste treatment and decentralised water. Together, the plans create a road map for delivering Sustainable Sydney 2030.

You can read the full plan by clicking here.

The draft plan will be on exhibition from March 2 to May 4. It will be available for feedback and viewing at: sydneyyoursay.com.au.

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