Regional households in New South Wales will be able to slash their power bills after the state government announced $85 million for clean energy programs.
The funding includes a $30 million program to enable communities across the state to build their own local clean energy projects.
“Tackling high energy costs is a top priority for our government and this significant investment puts further downward pressure on energy bills for homes in regional NSW,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said
“We are doing everything we can to help families and businesses take control of their power bills.”
Funding will also be available to develop backup power systems for up to 70 communities.
The community projects will reduce pressure on the grid and lower network costs, with each community able to save up to $2750 per site per year on their energy bills.
The funding also includes $55 million to help the private sector develop and accelerate clean energy technology for regional communities, such as pumped hydro.
Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said the projects would help regional communities make the most of their energy resources, while also helping to further boost NSW’s energy security
“The NSW Government is lowering barriers for investment for the emerging energy projects of tomorrow,” he said.
The announcement comes after the Premier announced a major investment in energy efficiency measures, including funding for energy efficiency upgrades for families and businesses, energy efficient bulbs in 60,000 streetlights, and solar panels for homes and government buildings.
The $72 million package would support energy efficiency upgrades for more than 20,000 rental homes, helping low-income renters bring down their energy costs.
It will also enable 250 NSW manufacturers upgrade old, energy-hogging equipment so they can bring down electricity and gas bills and stay globally competitive.
Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel said one of the best ways to quickly cut bills is by driving smarter energy use.
“This new effort from NSW is a well-targeted package that supports two groups doing it incredibly tough: renters that can’t make energy efficiency upgrades on their own, and manufacturers caught in a pincer movement between rising gas and electricity prices,” he said.