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Using our resources more efficiently

NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy Progress Report FY 2022-23

Here at NSW Government, we're committed to achieving greater resource efficiency in our own operations. We do this to protect our environment and reduce costs. This Government Resource Efficiency Policy report shows progress towards our goals. 


General government sector agencies with 100 or more employees are required to report progress annually against Government Resource Efficiency Policy targets. All mandated NSW Government agencies have submitted their reports for 2022-23.  

An increasing number of agencies are showing leadership in sustainability and embracing resource efficiency in their programs and operations.  

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100% of mandated agencies reported in 2022-23

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Water use and cost has decreased

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39 new energy efficiency projects reported


Read more about how we’re using less energy and water and reducing waste to meet our targets. 

To see how NSW Government agencies like TAFE, the Department of Communities and Justice and the Local Health Districts are performing, visit the Centralised Analysis System for Performance of Energy and Resources (CASPER) website for individual agency reports. 


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Energy use and cost increased for the first time in four years

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1.2% increase in energy use in 2022-23

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$40.6 million increase in energy cost for government agencies

In 2022-23, NSW Government energy use increased for the first time in four years. 

Government agencies reported: 

  • 2,174 GWh of energy used in 2022-23, which is a 1.2% increase from 2021-22
  • A total energy cost increase of $40.6 million, up 12.7% to $359 million from 2021-22

This increased energy use can be attributed to a range of factors, including: 

  • Workers returning to office work after COVID-19
  • Continued growth in government operations

The results exclude electrification projects that have not yet been implemented. 

Energy use by agencies came from the following sources: 

  • 77% electricity up 3% from 2021-22
  • 20% natural gas down 2% from 2021-22
  • 3% LPG down 1% from 2021-22.  


Overall energy use increased in 2022-23 

  • Electricity consumption increased by 2.7%, to 1,662 MWh
  • Natural gas consumption decreased by 3.3%, to 438 MWh
  • LPG consumption decreased by 3.9%, to 74 MWh

Costs increased across all energy areas: 

  • Electricity cost increased by 11% to $311 million
  • Natural gas cost increased by 29% to $41 million
  • LPG cost increased by 10% to $6.8 million 

The increase to natural gas costs is largely a reflection of gas price increases at NSW Government's largest consuming sites. Whole-of-government small sites contract rates remained relatively flat last year.

Save energy across government sites (Target E1)

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39 new energy efficiency projects

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$345,000 saved in costs each year

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Energy saved would run 16,000 homes for a year

Under the energy saving target, agencies must reduce their energy use by 10% by 2023-24, compared to year 1 reporting.

In 2022-23, NSW Government agencies reported 39 new energy efficiency projects to help achieve the E1 target. These include:

  • improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) 
  • LED lighting upgrades
  • replacing lifts with regenerative brake lifts 
  • efficient fridge replacements.

TAFE NSW replaced 27 hydraulic lifts across multiple campuses with new regenerative eco-efficiency lifts. This is the same technology electric and hybrid vehicles use to improve fuel efficiency. The upgrade is expected to save 190,000 kWh a year, and $62,000 a year.

These 39 energy efficiency projects will save an estimated $345,000 in costs and 90.9 million kWh per year in energy used. That's enough energy to power 16,000 homes for a year. 

In 2022-23, the NSW Department of Education completed an LED lighting upgrade program across 1,413 schools in NSW. These lighting upgrades are expected to save 86 million kWh a year, equivalent to powering the Sydney Opera House for five and half years. 

NSW Government agency energy efficiency projects completed since 2012-13 have saved: 

  • $117 million in costs 
  • 815 million kWh in energy use.


Whole-of-government solar target (E5)

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Solar target exceeded

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101,179,027 MWh of solar installed

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$13.4 million saved annually on energy bills

Agencies are required to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on suitable sites to contribute to the whole-of-government target of 55,000 MWh a year of solar energy generation by 2024. 

In 2022-23, the NSW Government installed 81 new rooftop solar projects with an estimated total annual generation of 22,835 MWh. 

The NSW Government exceeded the GREP solar energy target in 2020-21 and agencies are now working towards the expanded target of 126,000 MWh a year by 2024 set by the Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030

Agencies have installed 101,179 MWh of annual solar generation so far, saving $13.4 million a year on energy bills.  

The NSW Department of Communities and Justice has installed 1,650 kW of solar panels across 22 of its courthouses under the first stage of an ongoing program. 

As part of this program, NSW Department of Communities and Justice invested in upgrades including sub-metering, LED lighting, battery energy storage systems and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  




In 2022-23, water use decreased by 1,800 megalitres (14%), compared to 2021-22. That's the equivalent of Greater Sydney's water use today.

Water cost decreased by approximately $2.5 million (6%), to $39.5 million, compared to 2021-22. 



In 2022-23, NSW Government agencies reported 368,746 tonnes of waste disposed at a cost of $71.3 million. 

Reporting of waste has become more consistent, accurate and reliable, since an all-of-government waste contract was implemented. Waste data reported for 2021-22 has been updated to reflect this. 

The Waste disposal graph shows the waste weight data in tonnes. This covers 94% of waste data submitted. Data submitted in cubic metres and litres was excluded to ensure accurate conversions. 

The largest waste streams by weight in 2022-23 are: 

  • general waste (90,965 tonnes)
  • clinical and pharmacy waste (24,259 tonnes)
  • paper and cardboard recycling (11,713 tonnes)

The largest waste streams by cost were the same in 2021-22:

  • general waste ($41,252,651)
  • clinical and pharmacy waste ($11,443,575)
  • comingled recyclables ($8,183,708).