The following is the first of four articles compiled by the Sydney Knitting Nannas on how our councils can reduce emissions, minimise waste, get off gas and make their LGA more liveable.
A climate change solution could come from ‘electrifying everything’, says Saul Griffith an Australian inventor and adviser to the Biden administration.
Councils have an important role to play in
- acknowledging the social and economic benefits of community renewable projects to counter the effects of climate change
- building cooperative networks and engaging local residents in decision making and solutions
- educating their communities
- offering services and incentives to change
- enforcing and setting building codes
- leading by example
- Set progressive targets to reduce emissions from Council’s operations to net zero by 2035
- Set renewable energy targets for their whole community
- Help and encourage community organisations to apply for state and federal government renewable grants
- Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings
- Install energy efficient lighting in council buildings, sports grounds and streetlights
- Replace inefficient appliances and air-conditioning
- Replace vehicle fleet with EVs
- Collaborate with other organisations – Australia’s largest local government climate network, the Cities Power Partnership (CPP) – see if your local council is a member, Ausgrid Community Batteries, Ausgrid LED Streetlight Rollout
Homes & Businesses
Councils can set progressive targets for community emission reductions, then educate and incentivise their community to meet those targets.
Councils can offer education and incentives to
- Increased solar panel and battery use
- Start a small, simple community solar microgrid
- Add more insulation
- Change lights to LED – NSW Government rebate scheme for small business
- Reduce emissions by energy efficiency measures e.g. replace home appliances with clean electric-powered versions
- Disconnect from gas and replace gas appliances with electric – reverse cycle air conditioner, induction stove, heat pump for hot water
- Ensure new builds are electric-only
- Ban new gas connections
- Provide incentives for adopting renewable energy
- Set stronger building codes to reduce emissions and summer heat.
- Provide a list of accredited local solar installers
Councils can lobby the NSW and Federal Government to
- Support partnerships and reduce barriers to community organisations and individuals from trading their excess electricity to neighbour’s homes or small to medium size businesses
- Simplify grid connection and feed in for small to medium generators
- Provide low interest loans or tax credits for renewable installations, particularly on affordable housing for disadvantaged people
- Change the rules and the grid for a two-way system
- Provide a legitimate and reliable feed in tariff https://www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au/save-solar/learn-about-feed-tariff-rates
- Facilitate power purchase agreements, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is an arrangement in which a third-party developer installs, owns, and operates an energy system on a customer’s property. The customer then purchases the system’s electric output for a predetermined period.
Electric Vehicles EVs
As more EV’s are sold, more electricity will be required. The cheapest way to charge up your car will be by electricity generated from rooftop solar on your home. Your car battery may become your home battery or it may be used to stabilise the grid. Your car company may become an electricity retailer.
- Ensure there are sufficient EV charging locations throughout the LGA
- Ensure there are no obstacles to installing EV charging points in existing buildings, including apartments.
- Ensure new builds support electric vehicle uptake.
- Offer free parking for EVs for a limited time
NSW Government incentives to buy EVs from 1 September 
- rebates of $3000 for the first 25,000 EVs sold for under $68,750
- stamp duty removed from EVs under $78,000
- support medium to large sized fleets, such as local councils, car leasing companies and car share companies, to purchase battery or hydrogen fuel cell EVs.
- invest $171 million over the next four years to ensure widespread, world-class EV charging coverage
- allow EV drivers to use T2 and T3 transit lanes for a limited time
- ultra-fast chargers at 100 km intervals across all NSW major highways
NRMA are installing free recharging stations. Non-members will have to pay in the future.
Councils can lobby the NSW and Federal Governments to consider other incentives
- Remove toll charges
- Remove GST
- One off Registration Fee
- Tax fossil fuel vehicles at point of sale
- Cheap fixed loans to electrify homes
 https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-09-07/climate-change-solution-electrify-everything-saul-griffiths/100428158 and https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/how-to-save-5000-a-year-create-a-tradie-boom-and-save-the-planet-20211004-p58x1m