New program to boost Sydney's solar uptake

Monday, 12 March, 2018


The City of Sydney will put $750,000 towards a $2.25 million Ausgrid grant program to reduce demand for electricity and carbon emissions.

Ausgrid recently approached the City to boost funding for its $1.5m permanent demand reduction program. It offers incentives for customers to permanently reduce their electricity use on Ausgrid’s network. The program is expected to reduce emissions by about 10,000 tonnes a year.

Ausgrid Chief Executive Officer Richard Gross said the evolution of Sydney’s electricity grid would directly benefit customers and Sydney’s economic growth. “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 said in a statement.

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, the City said.

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.”

The City of Sydney’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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