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Home » Environment

Drive to improve energy efficiency speeds up as Sydney cuts emissions

Submitted by on August 21, 2015 – 12:04 pm
Sustainability

Sustainability

City of Sydney

The City of Sydney has adopted a ground-breaking plan that shows how businesses and residents can increase energy efficiency and save more than $600 million in power bills by 2030.

City of Sydney councillors this week approved a final version of the Energy Efficiency Master Plan that shows by 2030, the building sector could save 31 per cent of its energy use, even with an expected 29 per cent increase in floor space.

Approval of the plan comes as state and federal governments step up efforts to increase energy efficiency. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council is backing a move to increase Australia’s energy productivity by up to 40 per cent by 2030.

Adoption of the City’s energy efficiency plan also coincides with international recognition of the City’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in buildings. The US-based Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is giving the City $60,000 to fund a project to make high rise apartment blocks energy neutral.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said implementing the Energy Efficiency Master Plan would be another important step in the City’s actions to slash carbon emissions.

“Cities account for 80 per cent of global carbon emissions. Our efforts to increase energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions are vital in the fight against climate change,” the Lord Mayor said.

“All levels of government need to work together to combat climate change. I’m pleased with the recent decision by the Council of Australian Governments to adopt a national energy productivity plan that reflects many aspects of our own plan to make more efficient use of energy.

“The research underpinning our plan shows that while it will cost almost $400 million to implement measures to increase energy efficiency, the savings in energy use will be more than $600 million meaning a net benefit of more than $200 million by 2030.”

Adoption of the Energy Efficiency Master Plan comes as the NSW Government is promoting energy efficiency through its NSW Energy Efficiency Action Plan, the NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy, and the NSW Energy Savings Scheme.

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 has led to a range of actions including:

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;
Improving equity by advocating on behalf of low-income households; and
Showing 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.

“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,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By retrofitting swimming pools, community centres and libraries for optimum energy efficiency, we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions across the City’s buildings by 29 per cent. We now want to see these savings expanded across the entire city.

“The City is taking action and working with businesses to reduce emissions through programs including Smart Green Business, CitySwitch and the Better Buildings Partnership.”

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Matthew Moore, 0431 050 963mmoore@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay on 0432 182 647 or emailpmackay@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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