A new City of Sydney master plan for energy efficiency will show businesses and residents how to slash greenhouse pollution and save more than $600 million in energy bills by 2030.
The Plan could make Sydney one of the world’s most energy efficient cities and provide a major contribution to achieving the City’s goal of reducing carbon pollution 70 per cent below 2006 levels by 2030.
The draft Energy Efficiency Master Plan includes the most comprehensive analysis of all buildings in the City of Sydney area and shows how energy use in homes and offices could be reduced by more than 30 per cent.
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 would slash nearly two million tonnes of carbon emissions a year city-wide by 2030, a 33 per cent reduction from 2006 levels and nearly half of the reduction the City is committed to in Sustainable Sydney 2030.
The City will send the Plan to all other Australian capital cities so that they can use it as the basis for similar plans.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the time for action on climate change is now pointing out that cities make up two per cent of the earth’s surface but they account for 80 per cent of carbon emissions so action is essential. "In the face of inaction from the 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," she said.
"By improving energy efficiency through the actions and technologies outlined in the plan our residential and business communities can also reduce costs." The research in the plan shows building owners and their tenants just how much can be saved on power bills by reducing energy use.
The plan also 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 said the state government's resource efficiency policy helps agencies reduce operating costs through innovative strategies.
“The NSW government spends more than $500 million per year on energy, water and waste and our new policy has resulted in less time gathering data and more time on real environmental improvements," he said.
Climate Council Head Councillor Tim Flannery said there are already many countries around the world harnessing the benefits of energy efficiency. He said the European Union has set a target for all member states to improve energy efficiency by 20 per cent by 2020, with further energy efficiency improvements tipped at 80 per cent by 2050.
"It's fantastic to see the City of Sydney joining many governments internationally in taking further strong action on climate change," Flannery said.
"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."
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. It assessed current energy performance and supported actions such as: 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; and increasing minimum performance of new 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, and take significant action on climate change,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We are getting our own house in order by retrofitting swimming pools, community centres and libraries for optimum energy efficiency. These upgrades 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 already taking action and working with businesses to reduce emissions through programs including Smart Green Business, CitySwitch and the Better Buildings Partnership."
Moore said energy has already fallen five per cent since 2006 despite significant growth in jobs, the economy and new developments. "This plan could achieve almost half of the City’s emissions target," she said.
"The energy efficiency master plan has been prepared with input from government, the building sector, energy sector and community groups to provide the City with a detailed understanding of current energy performance."
TransGrid managing director Peter McIntyre said the master plan aligns with TransGrid's investment in projects to reduce peak electricity demand.
“Energy efficiency activities have the potential to reduce the 'peak' amount of electricity demanded from electricity networks," he said.
“If energy efficiency activities can deliver reliable demand reduction at particular times of the day, for example in the late afternoon on a hot summers day when the electrical network may be approaching capacity, the net result could be reduction in network costs for electricity bill-payers.
“Energy efficiency just makes sense, saving consumer's money while conserving resources in a carbon constrained world.”
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.
The draft plan will be on exhibition from March 2 to May 4. It is available for feedback and viewing at: sydneyyoursay.com.au