NSW Government Called to Help NFPs Become Energy Efficient
11 December 2018 at 8:29 am
The New South Wales government needs to strongly support the state’s not-for-profit sector to invest in energy saving technologies amid rising energy costs, a report finds.
Researchers from The McKell Institute examined NFPs and clubs in NSW and the impact of rising power costs on their operations.
The report said mid-sized NFPs were large consumers of power and lacked adequate government support in undertaking energy efficiency schemes, with researchers calling on the government to bring new energy saving technologies to the sector.
“The NSW government should consider introducing programs and offer opportunities for smaller and medium sized NFPs to incorporate new technologies into their operations so that they can save money in reduced power consumption costs, by storing energy,” the report said.
The report noted the case of The John James Memorial Foundation, which required government grants and financial aid to adopt energy sustainability plans as a large energy consumer.
In 2013, the foundation received a grant to upgrade its lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) through the Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP), before the scheme ended.
“The CEEP program showed that there were hundreds of organisations across the country that were willing to undertake significant energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, with the right financial incentives,” the report said.
“Now, unless state governments step in to fill this gap, other community service providers and NFPs will be unable to benefit from the [grant] assistance that the John James Memorial Foundation gained from.”
One of the authors of the report, Esther Rajadurai, told Pro Bono News many NFPs relied on government support to introduce energy efficiency measures.
She said the state government must emphasise energy sustainability and efficiency in its current grant programs to encourage more NFPs to implement environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards in all their activities.
“It’s about increasing the capacity for not for profits to focus more on energy sustainability, because many grants focus on community outreach or cooperation, but we want an avenue that means if organisations invest in energy efficiency [the government] will help you,” Rajadurai said.
“There are already measures that the state government have implemented to encourage not for profits to be more energy efficient but we just want it to be broader.”
The report recommended that the state government incentivise NFPs by helping them invest in generators that will ensure enough dispatchable capacity at all times, especially during periods of high demand.
It also suggested large consumers of power in the NFP sector could be rewarded for reducing their demand when necessary and undertaking efficient energy schemes.
Researchers said there were immense social and environmental benefits when NFPs were strongly supported through grants to use energy efficient technologies.
“Grants must be targeted more specifically at energy efficiency initiatives as the benefits of energy sustainability go beyond simply the recipients of the grants,” the report said.
“They generate positive externalities that benefit the broader community and the future energy needs of this country.”