I have created a new petition for local electricity trading. Please read it here:
The AEMC rejected the rule change request by the City of Sydney, Property Council of Australia and the Total Environment Centre to implement local generation network credits in order to facilitate local electricity trading, thus reducing energy costs for consumers.
More information is available here:
Local electricity trading would act as an enabler for the accelerated uptake of solar and energy storage, which have a much lower life cycle impact than fossil fuel energy technologies (and no emissions during operation), can provide reliability.
The National Electricity Objective (NEO) currently states that it is
“to promote efficient investment in, and efficient operation and use of, electricity services for the long-term interests of consumers of electricity with respect to price, quality, safety, reliability, and security of supply of electricity; and the reliability, safety and security of the national electricity system.” Apparently, environmental impact is not considered in the NEO as something that is in the long-term interests of electricity consumers. This contravenes logic, climate science and the Paris agreement. The NEO does not account for the external costs resulting from the fossil fuel industry, such as greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, land and water degradation, health impacts of air pollutants (namely, particulate matter such as soot), Thus, the NEO is long overdue for a change to consider environmental impact. This change would then act as a regulatory enabler to reconsider the rule change request for local generation network credits.
My other petitions are available at the below links:
Tenants in properties owned by Housing NSW are not able to go solar because Housing NSW won’t approve solar installations. Housing NSW should let tenants go solar, so that they can save money on electricity and be good environmental stewards.
I am not a Housing NSW tenant. I found out that Housing NSW doesn’t approve solar installations as a lead generator for a solar company. Housing NSW installed solar systems in Blacktown from 2008 to 2010 as part of the Solar Cities Program, and has implemented energy efficiency measures as described on their website. Given it’s past achievements, it should be open to letting tenants go solar–at the very least letting tenants organise the installation if the tenants pay for the solar costs.
Summary: have mandatory minimum energy efficiency standards (for buildings and products) for all private rentals and social housing. Landlords have to pay for the upgrades but are not allowed to increase the rent. If landlords have insufficient funds to pay for upgrades without increasing the rent get the customer’s energy retailer and/or the government to provide the funding.
There is a huge potential for better sustainability performance in all buildings. Areas of improvement include energy, water, materials/waste, corporate responsibility, transport, and indoor environmental quality. In Australia there is mandatory performance disclosure for commercial buildings.The scheme has been very successful in improving financial, environmental and social performance of commercial buildings. Hence, this petition calls on the federal and state governments in Australia to keep the commercial building disclosure scheme. This petition also calls on these governments to extend the scheme to all other sectors of the built environment.
However, an option that would be better for all residents, particularly financially disadvantaged ones, is to have mandatory sustainability performance standards for all buildings rather than disclosure, starting most importantly for buildings that have residents who are financially disadvantaged. In roughly increasing order of likelihood of tenants who are financially disadvantaged, building types are social housing, boarding houses, shared houses, tenant occupied buildings and owner occupied buildings.
The 2010 residential tenancies Act (which had the amendment for minimum water efficiency standards in water) applies to people in both social housing and private tenancies. This is what we’d need to change for such people. It is particularly important to do so, because people living in social housing (and also in shared housing with residents in individual rooms with a key to the room paying rent to a landlord who has unconditional access to the property, which is not covered under private tenancies or social housing) are usually on a low income and thus struggle to pay bills. Homes with lower energy and water performance will require more artificial heating and cooling for thermal comfort, thus resulting in higher bills.
Providing tax incentives in the form of tax write-offs for environmental upgrades will also help to overcome the barrier between landlord and tenant. In order to avoid the situation where costs increase for tenants in the form of rent hikes to pay off environmental upgrades, if the costs of the upgrade are not able to be recuperated by keeping the rent the same, the customer’s energy retailer and/or the government can pay for the balance. Energy companies already allocate funds to people experiencing financial difficulty.
Have technology standards meeting minimum energy efficiency requirements, such as improving Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS).
Local councils worldwide should use all means feasible to divert materials from landfill, e.g. sending them to reuse centres. This would help to reduce pressure on land, reduce methane emissions, reduce toxic materials leaching into the environment, and increase economic productivity. Examples of reducing waste include (but is certainly not limited to):
- diverting kerbside waste from the landfill to reuse or recycling;
- using publicly accessible fridges to store food waste, which has been implemented in Germany;
- incentivising supermarkets to sell food at discounted rates rather than discard it;
- using food waste as a feedstock for animals;
- using inedible food waste for conversion into electricity, fertiliser and biofuel; and
- encouraging the reduction of household and commercial food waste with compost bins, worm farms and organic food waste collection.
France made the move to ban large supermarkets wasting food, and other countries should do the same.
For more information about France’s move, see here: http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/05/france-bans-large-supermarkets-wasting-food/.
Please sign this petition calling on organisations and people worldwide to reduce waste. The petition particularly calls on governments, supermarkets, and other businesses producing valuable waste to stop usable materials being put in dumpsters. Supermarkets should instead be required to do something else, such as selling usable items at a lower price, giving them to charities, or turning materials into other useful outputs such as energy and fertiliser.
Please consider reading, signing and sharing the petitions with your family, friends and networks.