Sydney businesses incentivised to increase renewable energy
The City of Sydney is providing incentives for building owners to increase their use of renewable energy.
The council will put $750,000 towards an innovative $2.25 million Ausgrid grant program to reduce demand for electricity and carbon emissions in Sydney.
The program is expected to reduce emissions by about 10,000 tonnes per year — equivalent to taking 2500 cars off Sydney’s roads.
Ausgrid recently approached the City to boost funding for their $1.5 million permanent demand reduction program. It offers incentives for customers to permanently reduce their electricity use on Ausgrid’s network.
Permanent reductions can be achieved through energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting, variable speed pumps and smart building control systems, or through increased on-site generation such as solar PV.
These reductions will reduce the need for Ausgrid to replace ageing electricity network infrastructure by lowering demand on the electricity grid, which, over time, will lower the cost of electricity for residents and businesses.
“By working together, we can make a significant impact on carbon pollution, improve energy efficiency and reduce the cost of electricity,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
“We’re covering as many of our own buildings with solar PV as we can, but we can’t control the buildings we don’t own. Initiatives like this encourage building owners across the city to invest in renewables and energy efficiency measures.
“This will help us reach our ambitious targets to reduce emissions by 70% and source half of the electricity supply in our area from renewables.”
Ausgrid Chief Executive Officer Richard Gross said the evolution of Sydney’s electricity grid would directly benefit customers and Sydney’s economic growth.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Ausgrid customers to be part of an innovative program that will help reduce electricity use, make the grid more sustainable, improve affordability and benefit the environment.
“Our network has the second-lowest rate of solar take-up by customers due to the high number of apartments and businesses in our footprint, but this project could realise a solution that would possibly increase the number of solar installations on apartment buildings and leased commercial properties.”
There have been massive emission reductions in the prime building sector through the City of Sydney-led Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) program. BBP members, which include the City’s biggest property owners, have slashed emissions by almost half.
However, other sectors have been slower to reduce emissions.
The City’s investment in this program will be leveraged by a substantial co-investment by Ausgrid and property owners. Each project proposed for funding would be reviewed by the City for approval.
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