The City has boosted its $18 million environment budget, with another $4.5 million invested to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy over the next four years.
The new funding – on top of $10 million already set aside for long-term renewable energy projects – will encourage more solar panels on residential and commercial buildings, as well as stimulating large-scale investment in renewable energy.
“We’re getting on with the job of tackling climate change by doing everything we can to increase renewables in the city,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Our council area has one of the lowest levels of solar uptake across the Sydney metropolitan area. This is due to several challenges such as our transient population, the large number of renters, difficulties acquiring solar for strata buildings, and confusion over solar on industrial sites.
“We estimate there’s around 12 MW of solar PV capacity in our council area at the moment, which we hope will increase tenfold by 2030. Unlocking this potential will be critical to achieving our environmental ambitions.
“The $4.5 million will go towards grants and incentives for solar panels and funding a ‘solar concierge’ that can offer impartial advice on renewable energy to building managers.
“We want to work with energy retailers to provide our residents with a better deal on affordable, reliable and renewable energy.
“We’re also spending more than $3 million over the next four years putting more solar panels on our own buildings, on top of the $3 million we’ve already spent on this project.
“A good example is our new depot at Alexandra Canal, which is powered by more than 1,600 solar panels.”
The City has also committed $1.8 million over the next four years to expand residential waste services, including a free weekly e-waste collection and trials for food and textiles collection from apartment buildings.
“We’re committed to reaching our target of 50 per cent of local electricity sourced from renewables by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The City of Sydney-led Better Buildings Partnership, whose members account for more than half of all commercial floor space in the city centre, have reduced their emissions by 52 per cent, and we’re now looking to expand that model to the accommodation sector.”
The City is making strong progress on its environmental targets set in Sustainable Sydney 2030 and the Environmental Action Plan:
- Reduced emissions by 19 per cent across the local government area and 25 per cent across the City’s operations compared to 2006 baseline
- 69 per cent of residential waste diverted from landfill
- Evidenced a 52 per cent reduction in the emissions from the City of Sydney-led Better Buildings Partnership portfolio (54 per cent of commercial floor space in city centre) compared to 2006 baseline
- More than 1 million square metres of office space signed up to the CitySwitch green office program in Sydney, with signatories reducing carbon emissions by more than 32 thousand tonnes in 2017 and savings $8.8 million in utility costs
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