All applicable NSW government agencies have submitted Government Resource Efficiency Policy reports for 2020-21. An increasing number of agencies are showing leadership in sustainability and embracing resource efficiency in their programs and operations.
The NSW Government is committed to making NSW a sustainable, livable and resilient state. To reach this goal, the government seeks to lead by example by reducing its environmental impact through improved resource efficiency.
The Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP) provides the framework for our plan to achieve greater resource efficiency, generate cost savings and support environmental protection.
In 2020-21, 100% of general government sector agencies mandated to report by the policy have done so. Agency reports can be viewed on the Centralised Analysis System for Performance of Energy and Resources. Data can also be viewed at the cluster level.
2020-21 reporting highlights
In 2020-21, NSW Government energy consumption decreased for the fourth year in a row. Government agencies reported 2,090 GWh of annual energy consumption, a 3% decrease from 2019-20. The decrease in consumption generated $9.2 million cost savings for government agencies. At 75%, most energy use is electricity, followed by natural gas at 22% and LPG with 3%. Although the energy use is similar to the baseline year 2012-13, the scope of government operations has expanded over this period.
From 2012-13 to 2020-21, the cumulative savings from 1,255 efficiency projects is estimated at $115 million (cost efficiencies) and 661 million kWh (consumption efficiencies), approximately equal to the yearly consumption of 120,000 NSW homes [Assuming 5629 kWh/year, Australian Energy Regulator, 2020].
In 2020-21 NSW Government Agencies reported 111 new energy saving projects, including a wide range of measures, from improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems through to lighting upgrades and solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.
These energy saving projects will save an estimated $3.7 million (cost efficiencies) and 15.4 million kWh/year (consumption efficiencies).
Reducing the government’s energy use through energy efficiency and solar projects will generate significant benefits, including:
decreasing the demand for energy
promoting clean and renewable energy
increasing the demand for low energy-use appliances
encouraging energy efficiency design principles to be incorporated in development of new buildings.
In 2020-21, water consumption increased by 300 megalitres (3%) compared to 2019-20. Water expenditure also increased by 13% compared to 2019-20.
While water use and expenditure increased since the previous financial year there is still a trend towards decreased water consumption.
Water use decreased by 2% and expenditure decreased by 5% since the baseline year 2013-14. Although water use and expenditure are similar to 2013-14, the scope of government operations has expanded over this period.
In 2020-21, 52 agencies reported $57 million of waste disposal expenditure. The top three waste streams are general waste, clinical and pharmacy waste and comingled recyclables.
An improved model of waste reporting is being implemented via the newly implemented Whole of Government Waste Contract (c9698). The 2020-21 reporting period partially captured waste management improvements and we look forward to reporting a full year of data for 2021-22.