The NSW Government reports that electricity generation and use alone accounts for around one third of total NSW greenhouse gas emissions.
During 2005 the government launched the Energy Savings Fund (ESF), a five-year program of $40m per annum financed through electricity utilities. Other NSW government initiatives include the Energy Smart Homes project, the Energy Savings Fund and the new Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) introduced in July 2005 and for all new homes in Sydney.
BASIX was introduced to ensure that new residential dwellings would be designed and built to produce 25 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than average NSW homes of the same type. This was increased to 40% for the majority of homes built in NSW during 2006. However, the government exempted new high-rise units, which will remain at 20 per cent pending a review of local co-generation options.
ICANZ has some concern with the BASIX as implemented in NSW, which applies limits to aspects of the permanent ‘building shell or fabric’ features, such as glazing and insulation, in favour of non-permanent energy measures. While BASIX offers a holistic approach to energy efficiency, ICANZ believes that permanent measures that last the life of the building (typically 60+ years), should be kept separate from temporary measures which can be changed easily by the changing variety of occupants during the life of the building.
NSW Government has committed to achieving 20% renewable energy consumption by 2020.