An Australian plan to slash power use in homes and businesses in New South Wales (NSW) by 2020 is likely to miss its target.
That’s according to a government review of the Energy Savings Scheme which aims to help business and households use 16,000 fewer GWh of energy a year by the end of the decade.
This is due to federal cuts to the target which will damage the state’s wind and solar industries.
Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the government is still committed to energy efficiency and making NSW “Australia’s answer to California when it comes to clean energy”.
But the Climate Council has warned NSW – the nation’s largest greenhouse gas emitter – has become a “laggard” state in the renewable energy race.
NSW had set up a scheme to help electricity retailers and large power users save energy either by their own actions or by buying “certificates” from energy efficiency organisations.
But these and other measures, such as building standards and appliance labelling, are forecast to deliver 12,600GWh of electricity savings by 2020 – leaving a shortfall of 3400GWh (around 21% of the target).
The government’s plan to slightly increase electricity retailers’ obligations would do little to close the gap, the report showed.