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DRAFT SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

GY POLICY 2010–2020

December 2009
© Australian Capital Territory, Canberra 2009

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Published by Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water

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CONTENTS
MINISTER’S INTRODUCTION 1

1. A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY POLICY 2


Why do we need a sustainable energy policy in the ACT? 2
How does this policy fit with the Government’s other policies? 2
Where are we now? 3
Sustainable Energy Policy outcomes 4

2. OUTCOME ONE: INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY 6


Where are we now? 7
What are we going to do? 7

3. OUTCOME TWO: CLEANER GENERATION 10


Where are we now? 10
What are we going to do? 11

4. OUTCOME THREE: INCREASED RENEWABLE GENERATION 13


Where are we now? 13
What are we going to do? 14

5. OUTCOME FOUR: INCREASED CUSTOMER INFORMATION AND CHOICE 16


Where are we now? 16
What are we going to do? 17

6. OUTCOME FIVE: MAINTAIN EQUITY 19


Where are we now? 19
What are we going to do? 19

7. OUTCOME SIX: REDUCED TRANSPORT EMISSIONS 21


Where are we now? 21
What are we going to do? 21

8. OUTCOME SEVEN: REDUCED EMISSIONS AND GENERATE RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM WASTE 23
Where are we now? 23
What are we going to do? 23

9. OUTCOME EIGHT: ACT GOVERNMENT CARBON NEUTRALITY 25


Where are we now? 25
What are we going to do? 25

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 iii


10. OUTCOME NINE: ENSURE A SECURE, RELIABLE AND DIVERSE ENERGY SUPPLY 27
Where are we now? 27
What are we going to do? 27

11. OUTCOME TEN: FOSTER THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE CLEAN ECONOMY 29
Where are we now? 29
What are we going to do? 29

12. SUMMARY OF ACTIONS 31

13. CONCLUSION AND CONSULTATION: A WAY FORWARD 34

iv
MINISTER’S INTRODUCTION
The manner in which Canberrans respond to the challenge of climate change will be the defining
legacy of this generation.

Energy consumption is fundamental to our quality of life. Energy powers our homes and schools, heats
and cools our workplaces and hospitals and transports us in cars, buses and planes.

However, the way we produce and consume energy is unsustainable. It is now accepted that human-
induced greenhouse gas emissions are polluting the earth’s atmosphere and leading to dangerous
climate change. Burning fossil fuels is a major contributor to climate change.

In response, the ACT Government has committed to the ACT achieving zero net greenhouse gas
emissions by 2060. The measures to achieve this outcome will be guided by the overarching framework
outlined in the ‘Canberra Plan: Toward Our Second Century’ and included in the final Sustainable Energy
Policy 2010–2020 and Action Plan 2 of Weathering the Change.

Delivering a carbon neutral ACT is only possible with a sustainable energy policy. A progressive energy
policy must provide for environment and climate protection while ensuring sustainable prosperity, social
equity and energy security. At the heart of this policy is a massive boost to energy efficiency and greater
use of renewable energies.

The ACT’s sustainable energy policy integrates energy policy objectives of ensuring secure, reliable,
diverse and equitable supplies of energy with climate change objectives to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions from energy use. The ACT will be innovating and leading by greening and developing the
ACT’s economy for a sustainable and climate-friendly future.

I encourage you to read the draft and make a submission. All submissions will be considered in the
development of the ACT’s final Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020. It is only with input from the
community that the ACT Government will be able to best respond to our future energy needs –
achieving a vision of sustainable energy and zero net greenhouse gas emissions.

Simon Corbell MLA


Minister for Energy
Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 1


1. A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY POLICY

Why do we need a sustainable energy policy in the ACT?


Human-induced global warming is the greatest and most urgent threat confronting humanity.
Combating climate change means a drastic reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases. In response, the
ACT Government has adopted a Territory-wide target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2060.
This commitment will require the Territory to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to the maximum
extent possible and offset any residual emissions by undertaking or investing in accredited carbon
offset projects (such as reforestation). The end result is no net greenhouse gas emissions (sometimes
referred to as carbon neutrality).
Producing energy from burning fossil fuels is the major source of greenhouse gases. Therefore, effective
climate protection is impossible without a sustainable energy policy.
Clearly the key components of a sustainable energy policy must be built around a fundamental
reconsideration of the way in which we produce and consume energy.
Sustainability has three principal elements – environmental, economic and social (the so-called ‘triple
bottom line’). This energy policy has to address all three.
Environmental is obvious – mitigating the damaging effects of emissions on the environment is
fundamental to our sustainable future.
The ACT Government’s commitment to a sustainable Canberra clearly embraces a prosperous economy
built on enduring foundations. All government polices must seek to enhance the growth of a ‘clean’
economy (i.e. a low carbon economy).
Energy policy also has strong linkages with social policy. The certainty of higher energy prices, as the
costs of environmentally damaging emissions are gradually included in prices for fossil fuels, such as
through the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), makes energy policy one of the
most challenging social issues of today. To be a fair and just society it is important all ACT residents and
businesses have the ability to meet their energy requirements without undue financial stress. The focus
on energy efficiency in this policy, for example, clearly has a major social component as it will result in
life-long reductions in energy bills for households and businesses. The release of this draft offers the
ACT community an opportunity to provide input into the way in which the ACT will respond to these
challenges.

How does this policy fit with the Government’s other policies?
The final Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 will be informed by comments on the draft and will
be a major element of the ACT Government’s Climate Change Strategy Weathering the Change. The
Government has announced it will revise the Weathering the Change strategy early in 2010 and develop
its associated Action Plan 2. The key actions from this policy will be incorporated into Action Plan 2.
In that way Canberrans will have a single comprehensive and holistic Action Plan that contains all the
actions critical to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

2
Where are we now?
The ACT is small (second only to the Northern Territory) with a resident population of approximately
350,000 (1.6 per cent of Australia’s population).1
The ACT produces about 4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year from four main sources:
• 64 per cent from electricity generation (which occurs outside the ACT’s borders but is included
given the electricity is consumed in the ACT);
• 24 per cent from transport fuels;
• 9 per cent from natural gas use; and
• 3 per cent from waste.
In 2005–06, the ACT’s per capita emissions were approximately 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent,
which, while lower than any other state or territory, is increasing at a greater rate than national per
capita emissions.2 While overall ACT per capita emissions are low, this is in part due to the lack of large
industry in the ACT. On a per household basis, the ACT has relatively high emissions although this is in
large part due to larger heating requirements in the ACT relative to elsewhere in Australia.
The ACT receives approximately 99 per cent of its electricity from the national electricity grid which is
supplied by more than 200 major generators. Through the grid, the ACT is able to access the full range
of sources including electricity from coal-fired power stations, gas-fired power stations, wind turbines
and solar facilities, although most of the electricity in the grid at present comes from coal. Figure 1.1
shows the location of major generators in Australia.

Figure 1.1: Location of Australian electricity generators

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Source: Australian Energy Regulator 2008, State of the Energy Market 2008, p 58.

1
ACT Treasury, 2008, Australian Demographic Statistics – September Quarter 2008.
2
Pitt & Sherry, ACT Greenhouse Gas Inventory Series 2006, May 2009.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 3


Without action the ACT’s emissions will increase, due predominantly to increases in the ACT’s
population. Figure 1.2 shows the business-as-usual emissions projections for the ACT given current
policy settings (including the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target scheme but excluding the
proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme).

Figure 1.2: ACT business-as-usual emission projections (existing policy baseline)

6000

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tonnes CO2e

3000

2000

1000

0
2011
2007
2009

2013
2015
2017
2019
2021
2023
2025
2027
2029
2031
2033
2035
2037
2039
2041
2043
2045
2047
Source: Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water. 2049

Sustainable energy policy outcomes


The final Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 will deliver tangible outcomes consistent with its
overall objective of contributing to a carbon neutral ACT by 2060. For discussion in the draft, the
ACT has developed the following indicative list of policy outcomes, as a result of actions by both the
Commonwealth and ACT Governments to indicate what is necessary to achieve a reduction in ACT
emissions of between 25–40 per cent relative to 1990 levels. These outcomes will be finalised in early
2010 in tandem with the development of greenhouse gas reduction targets for inclusion in Weathering
the Change Action Plan 2. The targets once finalised will be in addition to (but compatible with) those
adopted in the Government’s response to the Interim Report of the Legislative Assembly’s inquiry on
ACT greenhouse gas reduction targets in which it adopted 1990 as the base year, a peaking of per
capita emissions in 2013 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

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By 2020 (reductions relative to 2020 business-as-usual emission levels):

1. Energy efficiency measures will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by at least
10 per cent.*

2. Increased distributed generation will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by
5 per cent.*

3. Transport initiatives will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3 per cent,
representing a 10 per cent reduction in transport-based emissions.*

4. Waste initiatives will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1 per cent,
representing a 25 per cent reduction in waste-based emissions.*

5. The ACT Government will aim to be carbon neutral, reducing ACT greenhouse
gas emissions by up to 5 per cent.*

6. The ACT will aim to use renewable energy for at least 25 per cent of all
electricity consumption (with an interim target of 15 per cent by 2012).*

7. Customer information and choice will be significantly enhanced.

8. Low-income and vulnerable energy customers will be assisted.

9. Energy supply will be secure, reliable and diverse.

10. Clean job growth and industry development will be promoted in a diverse
low carbon economy.

* The percentage target to be contained in the final Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 will be informed by comments
on the draft and an assessment of the cost effectiveness (environmental, economic and social) of individual measures in
meeting the ACT’s soon to be adopted greenhouse gas targets.

Measures of the degree outlined above are necessary to contribute to the ACT reducing its greenhouse
gas emissions in 2020 by between 25–40 per cent from 1990 levels. A 25–40 per cent reduction in
emissions is the range recommended by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC). Such a reduction is also consistent with Recommendation 5 in the Interim Report of
the Legislative Assembly’s inquiry on ACT greenhouse gas reduction targets to reduce emissions by 40
per cent by 2020. A reduction of between 25–40 per cent from 1990 levels is equivalent to a 55–65 per
cent reduction relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions.
The individual measures to be contined in the final Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 will be
informed by comment on the draft and assessed for their potential contribution to meeting the
ACT’s soon to be adopted greenhouse gas emission reduction targets balanced with the need to
ensure that cost-effectiveness and social equity are considered (as noted in Recommendation 4 of the
Government’s response to the Interim Report of the Legislative Assembly’s inquiry on ACT greenhouse
gas reduction targets).

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 5


2. OUTCOME ONE: INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY

There are significant and increasing opportunities for Canberrans to reduce energy consumption and
therefore greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency measures. These measures include
improving the energy efficiency of housing and building stock and the upgrade and replacement of old
appliances. Most energy efficiency measures are cost-effective in their own right although up-front costs
are sometimes a deterrent. In addition to these ‘technical’ solutions, there are significant gains to be made
through behavioural change.
Figure 2.1 shows an indicative greenhouse gas abatement cost curve, which provides information
on potential emission savings and the order in which measures should be undertaken, starting with
the most cost-effective measures towards the left of the graph and gradually moving towards the
measures on the right of the graph as the more cost-effective measures are exhausted. Energy efficiency
measures generally lie at the left of the graph, below the line, which indicates their implementation
offers overall net benefits. Energy efficiency measures typically include programs such as water heating,
lighting efficiency, stand-by power savings, refrigeration efficiencies, heating and cooling efficiency and
ventilation improvements.

Figure 2.1: Indicative greenhouse gas abatement cost curve

Source: McKinsey Australia Climate Change Initiative.

6
Reduced demand for electricity as a result of efficiency improvements will also improve the reliability of
the network through reduced loads. Energy efficiency will not only reduce energy consumption,
and therefore lower customer bills, but may also create job opportunities for those involved in
delivering the required energy efficiency services.

Where are we now?


The ACT Government has a strong record in promoting energy efficiency in the community.
The ACT Government, through the ACT Planning and Land Authority, pursues cost-effective
improvements to building performance standards through the Building Code of Australia.
For example, all new houses are now required to be built to a five star energy efficiency rating. A five
star rated dwelling represents a theoretical energy reduction of 70 per cent required for space heating
and cooling over a one star rated dwelling.
The ACT Government has been increasing the minimum energy performance of appliances, such as air
conditioners, incrementally.
In addition, the ACT Government administers a number of programs aimed at improving energy
efficiency, such as the:
• Home Energy Advice Team – a service that provides free advice on reducing energy;
• ACT Energy Wise – a program that undertakes home energy audits and provides rebates;
• Home Energy Action Kits – home use kits for monitoring domestic energy consumption which are
available for loan from ACT Public Libraries;
• ACTSmart Rebates and Assistance – a one-stop-shop and website for consumers to access
ACT Government rebates and assistance; and
• City Switch, Business Smart, Office Smart and the Energy Efficiency Fund – programs which work to
improve energy efficiency and reduce waste in buildings.

What are we going to do?


By 2020, energy efficiency measures will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10
per cent relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions.

The ACT Government will aim to:


1. introduce in 2010 legislation that will require energy businesses to identify and provide
energy efficiency products and services to ACT customers, with priority given to
low-income and other disadvantaged households; and
2. adopt an active policy of implementing energy efficiency reforms arising from the National
Partnership Agreement on Energy Efficiency.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 7


Energy Efficiency Improvement legislation
The ACT Government will in 2010 consider a scheme to require energy businesses to pursue energy
efficiency measures in the ACT to meet mandated emission reduction targets. Energy businesses are
best placed to assist consumers in the implementation of energy efficiency programs and measures.
The scheme under consideration will be based on that developed initially in the United Kingdom
known as the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme, and similar schemes in operation
in South Australia (the Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme), Victoria (the Victorian Energy Efficiency
Target) and New South Wales (the Energy Savings Scheme).

Such schemes work by placing an obligation on energy businesses to achieve reductions in emissions
through approved measures. Approved measures may include:

Lighting Draught proofing


Showerheads (and hence water heating) Fridges and freezer replacement
Ceiling and wall insulation Heating and cooling systems

The ACT scheme under consideration may include a focus on low-income households such as that
which exists in the United Kingdom and South Australian schemes, although this would not preclude
all household consumers having access to the scheme. This would assist low-income households
in achieving the benefits of energy efficiency. In addition, an assessment of including businesses, as
occurs in New South Wales, will be undertaken.

Implementation of National Energy Efficiency reforms


The National Partnership Agreement on Energy Efficiency (NPA-EE) is an agreement between all state
and territory governments to implement a range of energy efficiency measures aimed at improving the
efficiency of appliances and home, business and government buildings. The 37 measures cover four
broad areas:
• assisting households and businesses transition to a low-carbon future;
• reducing impediments to the uptake of energy efficiency;
• making buildings more efficient; and
• Government working in partnership and leading the way.3
Implementation responsibility rests with individual jurisdictions.
The ACT Government believes there are a range of these measures which offer opportunities for the
ACT to extend, expand or bring forward the national implementation date:
• governments to significantly improve the environmental performance of the buildings they
own or occupy;

3
A full list of the measures can be found at: http://www.coag.gov.au/coag_meeting_outcomes/2009-07-02/docs/Energy_efficiency_measures_table.pdf.

8
• showcase and promote energy efficiency technologies and energy conservation measures;
• address the opportunities that can be derived from building lot or precinct level layout that
support appropriate solar access to living areas, solar hot water, and solar photovoltaic systems for
new buildings;
• increase the energy efficiency of street lighting;
• provide support to businesses to assist them in improving their energy efficiency and to make
informed choices regarding energy efficiency by addressing barriers;
• states and territories to audit the energy efficiency of their public housing stocks;
• provide and promote information on energy efficient housing options; and
• place greater emphasis on energy efficiency as part of broader improvements to the sustainable
procurement practices of governments.
These measures will be further analysed early in 2010 as part of the preparation of Action Plan 2 under
the ACT’s climate change strategy, Weathering the Change. Where there are clear benefits in expanding
or accelerating the implementation of these measures, consideration will be given to having these
incorporated into both the sustainable energy policy and the Action Plan.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• How much should we rely on energy efficiency in moving towards zero net emissions?
• Building on national reforms, what else could be done to encourage energy efficiency?

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 9


3. OUTCOME TWO: CLEANER GENERATION

Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation must be reduced. As part of the shift to
low-emission energy generation, gas-fired generation has an important transitional role to play given
its lower greenhouse gas intensity relative to traditional coal-fired power stations.
There are significant opportunities to drive cleaner generation technology, such as wind and solar,
through national energy market reforms as well as ACT-specific policies (such as the Government’s
Feed-in Tariff scheme). Driving change through the national energy market reforms process is a high
priority for the ACT given that approximately 99 per cent of the ACT’s electricity is imported from New
South Wales and other states in the National Electricity Market. Figure 3.1 shows the type of generation
capacity in the National Electricity Market.

Figure 3.1: Scheduled generation capacity by fuel source 2008

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Where are we now?


The ACT, in conjunction with New South Wales, developed the first effective greenhouse gas reduction
scheme – the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS). The scheme commenced on 1 January 2005
and requires that energy retailers be involved in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The
scheme will be phased out upon the introduction of a national emissions trading scheme.
The ACT Minister for Energy is a member of the Ministerial Council on Energy (MCE). Through this role,
the ACT actively contributes to the development of national energy policy and market frameworks. The
MCE is actively driving an agenda to support renewable technologies.

10
The ACT is an active participant in the MCE and national energy policy development. The MCE has
instructed the Australian Energy Market Commission to undertake reviews in a range of matters. The
reviews include:
• a Review of Energy Market Frameworks in Light of Climate Change Policies;
• a Review of National Framework for Electricity Distribution Network Planning and Expansion; and
• a Review of Demand Side Participation in the National Electricity Market.
The recommendations arising from these reviews are being considered by the MCE, with
implementation of agreed recommendations commencing in 2010.
The combination of these and other measures, such as the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy
Target and proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, will ensure the development of cleaner
generation sources. Further to these developments, there is an increasing need for the ACT to play a
more active role in encouraging cleaner generation capacity in the ACT and encouraging renewable
energy through purchase from the national grid.

What are we going to do?


By 2020, the ACT will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by 5 per cent relative to 2020
business-as-usual emissions through distributed generation.

The ACT Government will:


1. consider requiring all new ACT greenfield developments and commercial buildings
include a detailed assessment of the benefits and viability of distributed generation options
as a default position; and
2. continue to be an active member in the development of national energy market reforms.

Distributed generation
Distributed generation refers to electricity generated close to where it is used and connected directly
to the distribution network. It has the potential to reduce costs associated with transmission (including
losses). In addition, it has the potential through co-generation (electricity and heat) and tri-generation
(electricity, heat and cooling) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower overall energy bills.
Distributed generation also enhances security, reliability and diversity of energy supply.
Co-generation and tri-generation are likely to be most applicable at larger scales (e.g. hospital,
commercial, apartment blocks and new suburb level in developments such as Eastlake and Molonglo).
This is because sufficient scale and appropriate infrastructure (e.g. to pipe heating and cooling loads)
are necessary. The construction of new buildings allows appropriate planning and avoids potentially
significant costs associated with retrofitting.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 11


Co-generation and tri-generation are typically powered by natural gas and offer benefits in avoided
energy use as they reduce the need to specifically use energy for heating and cooling.
A requirement that all ACT greenfield developments and commercial buildings include a detailed
assessment of the benefits and viability of distributed generation options as a default position would
potentially increase the volume of distributed energy in the ACT.
The ACT Government is also examining the feasibility of supporting the establishment of a
demonstration project to trial the applicability of either co-generation or tri-generation technology
on a precinct-size scale, potentially in the new ACT Government Office Block. The knowledge and
experience gained from the trial would inform future development decisions.
Barriers to the further uptake of distributed generation in private developments will also be
investigated with the intention of developing a streamlined application and approvals process.

Large scale low-emission generation capacity


The ACT has the potential to install a gas-fired power station. Gas-fired power stations produce
considerably fewer emissions for the same amount of electricity generated than a traditional
coal-fired power station. Gas-fired power stations currently produce power at lower prices and in a
more predictable and flexible manner than renewable energy sources such as solar. In addition, gas-
fired power generation can complement solar power capacity by acting as a back-up source of energy
during times of low sunlight as well as overnight.
Gas-fired power stations have an important transitional role to play in Australia’s move to less
greenhouse gas intensive energy sources while ensuring our energy requirements are met. Emissions
from gas-fired power stations may also reduce over coming years as natural gas is replaced with
alternatives such as biogas.

National Energy Market Reforms


The ACT will continue to support the MCE work program. Where beneficial, the ACT Government
will be a strong advocate within the MCE for progressive national policies which drive sustainability
outcomes. The ACT’s ongoing involvement in these and building on other reforms (such as the
proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and Renewable Energy Target) will assist Australia as a
whole, as well as the ACT, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining secure, reliable
and diverse energy supplies.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• What other options exist for cost-effective generation of cleaner electricity?
• What is the feasibility and potential take-up of distributed generation?
• How can the ACT increase low-emission generation capacity in a cost-effective way?

12
4. OUTCOME THREE: INCREASED RENEWABLE GENERATION

Renewable energy generation is the key to creating a sustainable energy supply for the future. To
support the development of this necessary technology, the renewable energy industry must be
encouraged and promoted. This is occurring through both ACT and Australian Government policies
such as feed-in tariffs and renewable energy targets.
While the ACT is not suitable for wind or wave-power generation, or large scale geothermal (given
current technologies), the ACT can support the development of such technologies through the
purchase of renewable energy (such as GreenPower) via the national grid.

Where are we now?


GreenPower is one of the most market effective ways of reducing emissions from electricity production.
The ACT Government has already implemented a policy that electricity retailers must offer GreenPower
to new customers. Further, the ACT Government has increased its level of renewable electricity
purchases to 30 per cent.
The ACT introduced the most generous Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme in Australia on 1 March 2009. By
November 2009, the 1,000th Canberra household had installed solar panels.
The FiT is aimed at householders and small businesses and is available for solar and wind generation.
Eligible generators receive a premium tariff for all of the electricity produced. The premium for systems
up to 10kW in size is currently 50.05c/kWh plus GST and for systems of up to 30kW in size the premium
is 40.04c/kWh plus GST. The FiT increases the volume of renewable electricity in the network and
therefore decreases emissions. The small renewable generators throughout the ACT are highly visible
and raise awareness in the community of the need to switch to more renewable energy sources. The
ACT Government is considering a possible extension of the FiT to larger users.
On a larger scale, the ACT Government is undertaking a process to enable the construction of a
large-scale solar power facility in the ACT. The proposed facility would produce sufficient power for at
least 10,000 homes (or 86,000 MWh/year).

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 13


What are we going to do?
By 2020, the ACT will aim to use renewable energy for at least 25 per cent of all electricity consumption
(with an interim target of 15 per cent by 2012).

The ACT Government will:


1. consider mandating a requirement that electricity retailers provide additional volumes
of GreenPower to assist the ACT meet its emission reduction targets, after consultation with
industry, households and stakeholders;
2. consider amending the existing Feed-in-Tariff Scheme in 2010 to encourage participation of
renewable generators with a capacity in excess of 30 kW;
3. move to the next stage of the process during 2010 for the construction of an ACT-based
large-scale solar power facility; and
4. leverage Australian Government initiatives to assist the development of renewable energy
and increased customer information projects in the ACT.

GreenPower
Purchases of GreenPower will play a crucial role in reducing the ACT’s emissions. GreenPower
is electricity produced from accredited renewable sources such as solar and wind. Every unit of
GreenPower purchased in the ACT contributes towards lowering the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The ACT Government will consider placing a requirement on retailers to provide additional volumes of
GreenPower to assist in meeting ACT greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Feed-in Tariff
The ACT Feed-in Tariff Scheme commenced on 1 March 2009 and is aimed at households and small
businesses. The Scheme promotes the take-up of distributed renewable energy generation by paying
generators a Premium Price over and above regular retail rates for each and every unit of electricity
generated and fed into the local electricity grid. A facility limit of 30 kW currently applies.
The Government is examining the economic, environmental and social implications of allowing access
to the Scheme by generators in excess of 30 kW. A Discussion Paper outlining a range of possible
models will be issued in late 2009 for public and industry comment with a view to an announcement
of the outcome and future directions by April 2010. Conclusions on the application of the FiT to larger
generators will be made in the context of decisions regarding the development of an ACT solar power
facility.

14
Solar power facility
A large solar power facility would provide the first large-scale electricity generation capacity in the
ACT and be one of the first such facilities in Australia. Such a facility would increase the proportion of
renewable electricity in the network, raise awareness of the need to shift to more renewable energy
sources and act as a demonstration project for Australian and international jurisdictions.
During 2010, the ACT Government will move to the next stage of its commitment to consider the
construction of a privately owned and operated solar power facility, subject to technical and economic
criteria being satisfied. Considerations will also take into account Commonwealth proposals such as
Solar Flagships.

Australian Government projects


The Australian Government is funding a range of demonstration projects. The ACT is actively seeking to
leverage these projects where there are possible benefits to the ACT.
The two most relevant policies relate to:
• Solar Flagships: a project aimed at increasing the solar generation capacity in Australia by
1,000 MWh; and
• Smart Grid – Smart City: a $100 million project aimed at demonstrating the benefits of investment
in ‘smart grid’ technology such as smart meters, in-house displays and improved network
communication capabilities to assist in maintenance and reconnection following black-outs.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• How can the ACT Government encourage greater purchase of GreenPower?
• How much emphasis should the ACT place on renewable energy compared to non-renewable
sources of energy?
• Should renewable energy be generated in the ACT or sourced from interstate?
• How should the Government encourage use and generation of renewable energy?

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 15


5. OUTCOME FOUR: INCREASED CUSTOMER
INFORMATION AND CHOICE
Improvements in information and choice of products will allow consumers to make real and significant
savings in their energy consumption. Experience in the United Kingdom, where energy retailers are
shifting from businesses simply trying to sell more energy into ‘energy service businesses’ which actively
assist customers to reduce their energy consumption, provides an indication of what is possible.

Where are we now?


The ACT was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a mandatory point-of-sale residential energy
efficiency disclosure scheme (the energy efficiency star-rating program). This concept is now being
introduced across Australia.
The ACT Government supports, subject to overall benefits, a roll-out of smart meters across the ACT.
In deciding on the most appropriate time for a roll-out, it will consider the net benefits based on a trial
under way currently by ActewAGL and the results of a national cost-benefit analysis in 2012.
In an attempt to enhance the level of information received by customers, the ACT Government requires
that electricity bills include information comparing consumption and resultant emissions with previous
bills. The ACT Government also participates in national schemes requiring that specified appliances
display their energy performance, for example on fridges. In addition, the ACT Government has
programs targeted at improving customer information including the:
• ACTSmart Rebates and Assistance – a one-stop-shop and website for consumers to access
ACT Government rebates and assistance;
• Home Energy Advice Team – a service that provides free advice on reducing energy;
• ACT Energy Wise – a program that undertakes home energy audits;
• Home Energy Action Kits – home use kits for monitoring domestic energy consumption, which are
available for loan from ACT Public Libraries; and
• City Switch, Business Smart, Office Smart and the Energy Efficiency Fund – programs which work to
improve energy efficiency and reduce waste in buildings.

16
What are we going to do?
By 2020, customer information and choice will be significantly enhanced.

The ACT Government will:


1. consider fast-tracking the installation of smart meters into ACT households where it is
demonstrated to be cost-effective to better assist residents manage their energy loads and
make more informed decisions about their energy consumption; and
2. increase customer choice by considering the removal of the regulated electricity tariff and
thereby encourage new and innovative pricing and service arrangements.

Smart meters
Smart meters enable consumers to make informed decisions about their electricity usage. Smart
meters are meters with added functionality that provide consumers with greater information about
their energy consumption. Smart meters combined with in-house displays allow consumers to monitor
their usage in real time. Based on this additional information, consumers have a greater ability to make
informed decisions regarding their energy use, and therefore potentially reduce consumption. The cost-
effectiveness of smart meters is likely to rise over coming years as electricity costs increase.
ActewAGL is now trialling smart meters for electricity, gas and water. This trial is known as ‘Project
MIMI’ and is aimed at improving the understanding of the costs and potential benefits associated
with smart metering, customer behavioural responses and identifying any change management and
communication barriers to a full deployment of smart meters across the ACT. A national cost-benefit
analysis is also scheduled for 2012. The ACT Government will also consider trialling smart meters in its
own operations as part of the next whole-of-government electricity supply contract.
The ACT Government will consider whether to fast-track the roll-out of smart meters based on the
evidence produced by the ActewAGL trial and the results of the national cost-benefit analysis.

Increasing customer choice by removing the regulated tariff


Product choice is likely to be increased through the removal of regulated electricity tariffs, such as has
occurred in the United Kingdom. The potential removal of the existing regulated electricity tariff will
be considered in the first half of 2010, with consideration given to it being replaced with a monitoring
arrangement similar to that adopted in Victoria. Under this arrangement, the prices charged by retailers
must be published widely, be monitored, and price changes be limited to twice yearly.
A review of concession arrangements to ensure vulnerable customers are supported is underway and a
Government decision will be made early in 2010. This will complement any decision on the removal of
the regulated tariff. This matter is discussed further in the following section.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 17


The removal of the regulated tariff would increase the incentive for retailers to develop new and
innovative products for customers to choose from, such as the introduction of time-of-use tariffs.
Time-of-use tariffs allow consumers to make savings by shifting their consumption into off-peak
periods, for example by choosing to run their washing machines and dishwashers overnight.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• What impact does information and advice have on reducing energy consumption?
• What should the Government be doing to increase customer information and choice?
• If the regulated electricity tariff is removed, what should the Government do to support
low-income and vulnerable customers?

18
6. OUTCOME FIVE: MAINTAIN EQUITY
For the purposes of the Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, the definition of equity to be adopted is
fairness and the ability of all ACT residents to be able to meet their energy requirements without undue
financial stress.
As Australian Government policies (e.g. the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and
Renewable Energy Target) as well as those of the ACT Government (zero net emissions) increasingly
shift energy generation from fossil-based to renewables, the price of energy in the short to medium
term is expected to increase.
Minimisation of these cost pressures is a crucial consideration in the development of the ACT’s
Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, especially through measures that assist the community in
reducing energy consumption and therefore energy bills.
Cost pressures will inevitably increase the need for Territory-funded concessions to low-income and
vulnerable consumers.

Where are we now?


The ACT provides a generous Energy Concession, equal to $194.87 per annum, to consumers who hold
a Centrelink pension or healthcare card. At any one time there are over 22,000 households in the ACT
receiving the Energy Concession. The concession increases in the winter months to help with heating costs.
The ACT Government Concessions Portal is an internet-based one-stop-shop for concessions offered in
the Territory. The ACT Government has also developed ACTSmart – a one-stop-shop for consumers to
gain information and apply for ACT Government water and energy efficiency programs and rebates.
The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal promotes the socially equitable supply of energy by dealing
with hardship cases on a case-by-case basis.

What are we going to do?


Low-income and vulnerable energy customers will be assisted.

The ACT Government will:


1. consider increasing the Energy Concession to a level commensurate with expected
energy price increases. Such an increase would immediately assist the more than
22,000 ACT households that receive this benefit each year;
2. consider the establishment of a mechanism by which percentage increases in energy
prices are automatically applied to the Energy Concession each year;
3. identify and consider implementing in each residential based program within ACTSmart a
specific benefit payable to low-income households in addition to the benefit already
available. This requirement would potentially flow through to any subsequent delivery of
programs under industry agreements; and
4. ensure that considerations regarding the Energy Efficiency Improvement scheme include
a focus on low-income and vulnerable customers.
Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 19
Energy Concession and Indexation
The ACT Government is considering whether there is a need to increase the level of the energy
concession. These considerations will include an assessment of whether there is a requirement to have a
one-off increase to bring the energy concession up to an appropriate level followed by the establishment
of a mechanism to link future increases in the energy concession to energy price increases.
In addition, the ACT Government is considering whether a review into eligibility requirements for
receipt of the energy concession is necessary. At present, there are approximately 22,000 eligible
households (approximately 15 per cent of all ACT households). Such a review may be necessary to
ensure the concessions remain targeted to support those most in need.

ACTSmart
When designing energy efficiency programs the ACT Government will continue to focus attention on
how low-income households can access the programs. This may include a specific benefit payable to
low-income households in addition to the benefit available to the rest of the community to encourage
a wider uptake of the Government’s programs.

Energy Efficiency Improvement scheme


In considering the development of an ACT Energy Efficiency Improvement scheme, a focus on low-
income households, similar to the United Kingdom and South Australian schemes, will be included.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• How should the Government support low-income and vulnerable customers?

20
7. OUTCOME SIX: REDUCED TRANSPORT EMISSIONS

Emissions from transport-related activities account for 24 per cent of total ACT emissions. While
recognising that the car will continue to play a crucial role in the transport needs of ACT residents due
to the way in which the city has been planned, there are significant opportunities to minimise the
number of journeys and reduce emissions from those trips that must be undertaken.

Where are we now?


The ACT Government is developing the Sustainable Transport Action Plan 2010–16. The key target of
the plan is that by 2026, 30 per cent of journeys to work will be made using sustainable modes, that is,
public transport, cycling or walking. Achievement of this target will make a significant contribution to
reducing the ACT’s emissions from transport. In addition, investigations are continuing into the switch
to more efficient and less greenhouse gas intensive fuel sources such as the use of diesel and natural
gas to power buses.
Electric vehicles offer an alternative to the internal combustion engine. In response to ACT Government
policies encouraging green technology, Canberra has been chosen as the preferred location for the
roll-out of infrastructure to support Australia’s first electric car network.

What are we going to do?


By 2020, transport initiatives will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3 per cent
relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions. This represents a 10 per cent reduction in transport-based
emissions relative to 2020 business-as-usual transport-based emissions.

The ACT Government will:


1. finalise the Sustainable Transport Plan 2010–2016 and work actively to achieve the
targeted increases in sustainable journeys;
2. encourage the uptake of low-emission vehicles through consideration of financial and
other incentives;
3. actively support the introduction of electric vehicles in the ACT;
4. consider a trial of electric vehicles to establish their appropriateness as ACT Government
fleet vehicles;
5. promote eco-driving; and
6. encourage rail freight.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 21


Sustainable Transport Plan
Only with an integrated transport plan that brings together transport, land planning, environmental
and social concerns will a truly sustainable city be developed. The finalisation of the Sustainable
Transport Plan 2010–16 is a crucial step in achieving this aim.
The ACT Government will continue discussions with the National Capital Authority regarding the
introduction of fair paid parking arrangements in the Parliamentary Triangle and Russell. This will encourage
all commuters to consider alternative transport options such as public transport, cycling and walking.

Low-emission vehicles
The ACT Government will actively support the shift to low-emission (and eventually zero-emission)
vehicles. The ACT Government will encourage this transition through further consideration of initiatives
such as preferential parking and registration fees for low greenhouse gas producing vehicles.

Electric vehicles
The ACT, along with Copenhagen and Tel Aviv, has been selected as a site for the roll-out of electric
vehicle support infrastructure. The infrastructure will include battery change-over facilities as well as
plug-in arrangements. The roll-out of this infrastructure, with the ACT Government providing planning
and regulatory assistance, will see the ACT at the forefront of the shift to electric vehicles.
Further, the ACT Government will support the introduction of electric vehicles by considering a trial (as
soon as feasible) of the vehicles as fleet vehicles, including their infrastructure requirements.

Eco-driving
Fuel consumption can be reduced significantly through the use of eco-friendly driving techniques. The
ACT Government will consider developing and implementing an eco-driving program in the ACT.

Encourage rail freight


Rail freight is in many circumstances a cost-effective and relatively low greenhouse gas emitting form of
transport. Where possible, the ACT will support the further development of rail freight, including being
an advocate in national transport forums.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• What do you think should be the Government’s priorities for reducing the amount of energy
used in transport?
• What could the Government do that would lead to you using less energy when you travel?

22
8. OUTCOME SEVEN: REDUCED EMISSIONS AND
GENERATE RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM WASTE

Emissions from waste represent approximately 3 per cent of the ACT’s total emissions. These emissions
are predominantly the result of methane escaping landfill as organic waste decomposes.
Once separated from the general waste stream:
• food waste can be processed to produce renewable energy and compost for farm and horticultural use; and
• organic waste including food, wood and paper can be processed through a thermal conversion
facility to generate renewable energy. Thermal conversion technologies also have potential to
produce ‘biochar’, a stable form of carbon that can then be sequestered.

Where are we now?


Methane from the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre is captured and used to generate
approximately 23,000 MWh of electricity each year. A similar facility in Belconnen produces
approximately 5,000 MWh. This reduces the ACT’s overall emissions by converting the methane to
energy (and thereby avoiding the equivalent of 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions).

What are we going to do?


By 2020, waste initiatives will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1 per cent relative
to 2020 business-as-usual emissions. This represents a 25 per cent reduction in waste-based emissions
relative to 2020 business-as-usual waste-based emissions.

The ACT Government will:


1. investigate ways, as part of its review of the development of a Future Waste Strategy,
to separate organic waste and options for recycling organic waste to reduce emissions
from landfill, generate renewable energy, and sequester carbon. This work may lead to
the tendering of new waste recovery and recycling facilities with the private sector in
2010.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 23


Waste options
The ACT Government is investigating options to recover resources from waste and, where it provides
the highest value use, direct a portion of the sorted wastes to a thermal conversion facility. Additional
processing and recovery of resources may significantly reduce the ACT’s emissions from landfill, and
create an additional source of renewable energy and process for carbon sequestration (biochar). Once
these investigations have been completed the Government will consider initiating an expressions
of interest process so that the private sector could be engaged in developing the most appropriate
commercial solution.
A Future Waste Strategy is being developed in 2010 which will improve management of waste to
provide greater climate change benefits.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• How important is it to minimise organic waste to landfill?
• Should waste be used to generate renewable energy, rather than going to landfill?

24
9. OUTCOME EIGHT: ACT GOVERNMENT CARBON NEUTRALITY
The ACT Government will lead by example in achieving carbon neutrality in its own operations.

Where are we now?


The ACT Government currently sources 30 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable sources.
The ACT Government has also been working towards upgrading the energy performance of its offices,
schools, public housing and street lighting.
The ACT Government is assessing the construction of a benchmark green office building for its own
use. A decision will be made in 2010.

What are we going to do?


By 2020, the ACT Government will aim to be carbon neutral, reducing ACT greenhouse gas emissions
by up to 5 per cent relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions.

The ACT Government will:


1. develop and implement a Carbon Neutral ACT Government Framework as part of its
revised ACT Climate Change Strategy Weathering the Change and Action Plan 2.

Carbon Neutral ACT Government Framework


The ACT Government will be developing strategies and actions to improve energy efficiency and
increase use of renewable energy in the wide array of ACT Government functions and services, from
office-based policy and program delivery, to schools and hospitals through to municipal services such
as street lighting and waste collection.
The Framework will identify cost-effective approaches including: whole-of-government strategies, for
example in accommodation, procurement and fleet management; sectoral strategies, for example
for hospitals, schools, and emergency services; and agency-specific strategies, for example the
implementation of resource management plans and staff engagement.
Enhanced accountability through monitoring and reporting will be a priority including through agency
carbon budgets.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 25


The ACT Government will work over the coming years to achieve carbon neutrality in its own
operations and make the lessons learnt and challenges faced available publicly to assist others in
making the transition.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• What are the benefits of greener ACT Government buildings?
• How important is it for the ACT Government to show leadership in achieving carbon neutrality?

26
10. OUTCOME NINE: ENSURE A SECURE, RELIABLE AND
DIVERSE ENERGY SUPPLY
Security of supply is the assurance that the overall energy system is capable of supplying energy as and
when customers require it.
Reliability of supply is the assurance that the system can be kept in balance between the volume
demanded and the supply available so that blackouts or shortages do not occur.
Diversity of supply is achieved by having multiple sources of energy supply. Increased diversity can
increase security and reliability given that the reliance on any one energy source or technology is
reduced. In addition, diversity in location of energy generation capacity increases security and reliability
as a variety of locations reduces the reliance on any one transportation network connection.

Where are we now?


The ACT Government has a single secure connection to the National Electricity Market and has applied
the National Electricity Law setting relevant reliability standards.

What are we going to do?


The ACT Government will ensure an energy supply that is secure, reliable and diverse.

The ACT Government will:


1. expedite the construction of a second electricity connection point to the national
electricity grid. The connection will be operational by 1 July 2011;
2. support the introduction of increasing levels of distributed and large-scale low-emission
generation capacity in the ACT; and
3. continue to participate in reforms that strengthen the national grid.

Second connection point


A second connection point at Willamsdale in the south of the ACT will increase the security of the ACT’s
connection to the National Electricity Market. The connection is expected to be completed in 2011 and
the ACT Government will expedite this process if possible.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 27


Distributed and large-scale low-emission generation capacity
Increases in distributed generation (including co-generation and tri-generation) as well as the
construction of large-scale generation capacity would contribute significantly to security, reliability and
diversity of supply.

Continue national energy market reforms


The continual evolution and integration of Australia’s energy markets will support security and reliability
of electricity in the ACT. The ACT will continue to promote and work towards the integration of
Australia’s energy markets.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• What should the ACT Government do to encourage distributed generation and
large-scale, low-emission generation in the ACT?
• What energy market reforms should the ACT be driving?

28
11. OUTCOME TEN: FOSTER THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT
OF THE CLEAN ECONOMY

Climate change and an increased focus on renewable and low-emission energy sources will create
significant opportunities for the development of new businesses and industries and associated
employment prospects within the Territory and surrounding region.
A ‘Clean Economy’ can be defined as one in which jobs are characterised as being:
• entirely new and created in response to an identifiable new clean (i.e. low-carbon) technology
initiative; or
• an infusion of clean (sometimes referred to as green) practices within existing jobs (changing the
way we do things to make them more sustainable).
The success of the ACT Government’s Feed-in Tariff and the potential implementation of aggressive
energy efficiency programs will contribute to existing skills and a development of new skills in the
workforce. Along with an infusion of capital supporting these activities, this offers the opportunity for
Canberra to create a new industry base.

Where are we now?


The ACT Government, through the Business and Industry Development branch of the Chief Minister’s
Department, delivers a range of business programs to support the growth and development of local
companies. These programs have a focus on the small and micro business sectors operating in the
Territory. The ACT Government’s vocational education provider, the Canberra Institute of Technology,
has developed specialist trades courses for energy efficiency, such as a new course for plumbers on
installing and maintaining solar hot water systems. In addition, programs such as the Feed-in Tariff
support new clean jobs in the short term such as solar panel installers.

What are we going to do?


Clean job growth and industry development will be promoted in a diverse low-carbon economy.

The ACT Government will:


1. leverage off the wide-ranging research and work already undertaken into the
opportunities available to Canberra given its particular mix of information technology (IT)
skills, research institutions (especially its world-renowned research centres focusing on
clean energy technology) and relatively high education and income levels; and
2. work with companies and sectors to develop business opportunities.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 29


Research into opportunities
The ACT is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by a shift to more renewable
energy sources. The ACT Government will undertake further research into the opportunities available
to Canberra given its particular mix of IT skills, research institutions and relatively high education and
income levels. An analysis of immediate opportunities will be included in the Feed-in Tariff Stage 2
Discussion Paper.

Business opportunities
The ACT Government supports business development opportunities. This support will continue and
takes many forms including:
• development of local industry capability;
• development of research capability;
• opportunities for collaboration between local industry and local research and what is needed to
promote collaboration;
• leveraging Australian Government ‘green tech’ and ‘clean tech’ industry development programs and
their reach and relevance to the ACT; and
• skill availability and skill requirements for green businesses.

In preparing a submission on the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, your views are sought.
• What should the ACT take advantage of in developing a clean economy?
• What benefits will there be for the ACT becoming a clean economy?
• What should the Government do to encourage a clean economy?

30
12. SUMMARY OF ACTIONS

The ACT’s Sustainable Energy Policy Outcomes

By 2020:

1. Energy efficiency measures will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by at
least 10 per cent relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions. The ACT Government
will:
1.1. aim to introduce in 2010 legislation that will require energy businesses to identify and provide
energy efficiency products and services to ACT customers, with priority given to low-income
and other disadvantaged households; and
1.1. adopt an active policy of implementing energy efficiency reforms arising from the National
Partnership Agreement on Energy Efficiency.

2. Increased distributed generation will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by
5 per cent relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions. The ACT Government will:
2.1. consider requiring all new ACT greenfield developments and commercial buildings to include
a detailed assessment of the benefits and viability of distributed generation options as a default
position; and
2.3. continue to be an active member in the development of national energy market reforms.

3. The ACT will aim to use renewable energy for at least 25 per cent of all electricity
consumption (with an interim target of 15 per cent by 2012). The ACT Government will:
3.1. consider mandating a requirement that electricity retailers provide additional volumes of
GreenPower to assist the ACT meet its emission reduction targets, after consultation with
industry, households and stakeholders;
3.2. consider amending the existing Feed-in-Tariff Scheme in 2010 to encourage participation of
renewable generators with a capacity in excess of 30 kW;
3.3. move to the next stage of the process during 2010 for the construction of an ACT-based
large-scale solar power facility; and
3.4. leverage Australian Government initiatives to assist the development of renewable energy and
increased customer information projects in the ACT.

4. Customer information and choice will be significantly enhanced. The ACT Government will:
4.1. consider fast-tracking the installation of smart meters into ACT households where it is demonstrated
to be cost-effective to better assist residents manage their energy loads and make more informed
decisions about their energy consumption; and
4.2. increase customer choice by considering the removal of the regulated electricity tariff and thereby
encourage new and innovative pricing and service arrangements.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 31


5. Low-income and vulnerable energy customers will be assisted. The ACT Government will:
5.1. consider increasing the Energy Concession to a level commensurate with expected energy
price increases. Such an increase would immediately assist the more than 22,000 ACT
households that receive this benefit each year;
5.2. consider the establishment of a mechanism by which percentage increases in energy prices
are automatically applied to the Energy Concession each year;
5.3. identify and consider implementing in each residential based program within ACTSmart a
specific benefit payable to low-income households in addition to the benefit already available.
This requirement would potentially flow through to any subsequent delivery of programs
under industry agreements; and
5.4. ensure that considerations regarding the Energy Efficiency Improvement scheme include a
focus on low-income and vulnerable customers.

6. Transport initiatives will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by up to


3 per cent relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions. This represents a 10 per cent
reduction in transport-based emissions relative to 2020 business-as-usual transport-
based emissions. The ACT Government will:
6.1. finalise the Sustainable Transport Plan 2010–2016 and work actively to achieve the targeted
increases in sustainable journeys;
6.2. encourage the uptake of low-emission vehicles through consideration of financial and other
incentives;
6.3. actively support the introduction of electric vehicles in the ACT;
6.4. consider a trial of electric vehicles to establish their appropriateness as ACT Government
fleet vehicles;
6.5. promote eco-driving; and
6.6. encourage rail freight.

7. Waste initiatives will aim to reduce ACT greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1 per cent
relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions. This represents a 25 per cent reduction in
waste-based emissions relative to 2020 business-as-usual waste-based emissions. The
ACT Government will:
7.1. investigate ways, as part of its review of the development of a Future Waste Strategy, to
separate organic waste and options for recycling organic waste to reduce emissions from
landfill, generate renewable energy and sequester carbon. This work will lead to the tendering
of new waste recovery and recycling facilities with the private sector in 2010.

32
8. The ACT Government will aim to be carbon neutral, reducing ACT greenhouse gas
emissions by up to 5 per cent relative to 2020 business-as-usual emissions. The ACT
Government will:
8.1. develop and implement a Carbon Neutral ACT Government Framework as part of its revised
ACT Climate Change Strategy Weathering the Change and Action Plan 2.

9. Energy supply will be secure, reliable and diverse. The ACT Government will:
9.1. expedite the construction of a second electricity connection point to the national electricity
grid. The connection will be operational by 1 July 2011;
9.2. support the introduction of increasing levels of distributed and large-scale low-emission
generation capacity in the ACT; and
9.3. continue to participate in reforms that strengthen the national grid.

10. Clean job growth and industry development will be promoted in a diverse low-carbon
economy. The ACT Government will:
10.1. leverage off the wide-ranging research and work already undertaken into the opportunities
available to Canberra given its particular mix of IT skills, research institutions (especially its
world-renowned research centres focusing on clean energy technology) and relatively high
education and income levels; and
10.2. work with companies and sectors to develop business opportunities.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 33


13. CONCLUSION AND CONSULTATION: A WAY FORWARD

This draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 presents a range of policies under consideration
by the ACT Government in its move towards zero net emissions. The specific targets in the draft
Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 will be subject to further review to take into account research
that has been commissioned by the ACT Government. This review will include comments from the
public consultation and an assessment of the cost and benefits of individual measures (environmental,
economic and social). This will ensure the final Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 contains robust
and realistic policies and targets against which progress can be measured.
The ACT Government encourages members of the public to provide comments on the policies
contained in this draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020. Members of the public are also
encouraged to provide additional policy initiatives.
The process will follow this timetable:

Milestone Date
Release draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 December 2009
Submissions on draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 due March 2010
Release of final Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 Mid 2010

How do I make a submission?


Written submissions are preferred. However, not all interested parties are in a position nor have the
resources to formally submit their views in this way. As such, comments may be provided verbally to
the Sustainable Energy Policy Secretariat.
In the case of written submissions the following guidelines apply.
• There is no fixed format or length for your submission. However, MS Word-compatible format
is preferred.
• Email constitutes a valid written submission.
• You may use your submission to convey facts and opinions or to make arguments or
recommendations.
• The boxes seeking your views should be treated as a guide. You may respond directly to the questions
posed or provide other comments you consider relevant. You need not address all the questions
posed in the boxes.
• It would be appreciated if submissions over 4 pages additionally contain a summary of issues
raised in the text.
The ACT Government is unable to assist with any costs incurred by individuals or organisations in
preparing their submission.

34
Are submissions authenticated?
Anonymous submissions or comments will not be accepted. To enable your submission to be
authenticated you should include details of:
• your name and address and (if available) your email contact;
• whose views you are representing. If you are writing on behalf of an organisation you should
clearly identify it and the position of authority within that organisation that you occupy.
A submission may be rejected if it:
• is deemed to fall outside the scope of the draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020;
• is purporting to be on behalf of an organisation, the authenticity of which cannot reasonably be
established; or
• contains potentially defamatory statements about named individuals or organisations.

What happens to my submission?


All submissions will, subject to confirmation of authenticity, be considered in preparing the final
Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020, treated as public documents and displayed upon the
Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water (DECCEW) website.
The website is at www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/energypolicy
All submissions received will be acknowledged.
Handwritten submissions may be transferred into PDF format or transcribed into typed format so that
they may be displayed on the website.
Submissions will not be returned.

What if I believe my submission is confidential?


You may indicate in your submission that you consider matters raised within the text to be ‘Confidential’
or ‘Commercial-in-Confidence’.
You should clearly mark the top of each page of your submission to this effect. You should also provide
a statement or explanation as to why the information may be damaging or why your views should not
be subjected to public scrutiny.
All such claims will be considered. However, in the spirit of open and transparent consultation, it is far
more effective and useful that all submissions be made available publicly.

Draft Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 35


Contacting us
The Sustainable Energy Policy 2010–2020 Secretariat is located within the ACT Department of the
Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water.
Submissions may be sent to:
Senior Manager – Energy Policy
DECCEW
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Or emailed to:
energypolicy@act.gov.au
The Secretariat may be contacted on:
02 6207 5641 or 02 6207 5870.
Submissions received may be viewed at:
www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/energypolicy

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