The government of New South Wales, Australia, plans to cut electricity costs for households and businesses, by implementing a number of energy efficiency measures.
The $72 million project will come from the state’s climate change fund, which was set up in 2007 to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
$24.5 million of the government funds will be dedicated to upgrading more than 20 000 homes with energy efficient lighting and heating systems, which could provide an annual saving of $400 a year.
The NSW government will also support 250 manufacturers to install energy-efficient equipment like boilers and refrigeration, saving an average of $80,000 a year.
Local councils will get a $12.5 million share of project funds to upgrade 60,000 streetlights with LED and save up to $22 million on energy costs by 2035.
The roll-out of solar panels will also be accelerated with the state government setting a target for government buildings, such as schools and hospitals, to reach 25,000MW hours of solar energy a year by 2021 and 55,000MW hours a year by 2024.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said the fund had not done much to ease cost-of-living pressures and was now being used in a “practical” way.
“Whilst we’re doing everything we can to reduce emissions and to be good to the environment, we also want to be good to everyone’s hip pocket,” she told reporters in Sydney.
Emphasis on cutting power costs comes after NSW opposition leader Luke Foley stated that government was doing little in the face of rising power costs.
“The NSW Liberals deregulated the electricity market in 2014 and stood by doing nothing while the electricity companies gouged away,” he said in a statement.
Further criticism has come from the NSW Nature Conservation Council. “The government has set a goal of making NSW carbon neutral by 2050, but it still doesn’t have a plan to get us there,” chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement