Sustainability

Emissions reduction target

We continue to reduce carbon emissions and are committed to clear emission reduction targets.

Emissions target - pic of a solar panel

 CO2-e emission reduction targets are:

8% reduction by end FY2024 (44% excluding line losses); and 17% reduction by FY2030*

 

Our carbon footprint is 1 million tonnes of CO2-e per annum and these targets are expected to remove 83,700 tonnes of CO2-e by mid-2024, equal to taking approximately 17,100 cars off the road. We know that improving our energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint is another way we can reduce costs and address climate change - which will benefit our customers and the environment.

Ausgrid also has a role to play in supporting Australia’s transition to a clean energy future. We have a range of initiatives to reduce our carbon emissions, including:

 Currently endorsed and underway

 Under investigation

  • Street lights upgrade to LED
  • Upgrade of properties to be more energy efficient
  • Solar PV (photovoltaic) on our buildings
  • Transitioning our servers to the cloud
  • Network reconfigurations – infrastructure changes leading to higher voltages and therefore reduced line losses
  • Trialing electric vehicles 
  • Adopting more energy efficient vehicles into our fleet and further expansion of our electric vehicle fleet
  • Further improvements to our property portfolio to make our buildings more energy efficient
  • The consideration of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), to access/generate renewable energy for electricity use at Ausgrid properties
  • Improved management of SF6

Apart from CO2, the gas that most impacts Ausgrid is sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) used as an insulating gas in electrical equipment and it has 22,800 times more global warming potential than CO2. We are working to better understand alternatives to SF6 and improve the management of our existing stocks of SF6 on our network.

 CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions are a mixture of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride and perfluorocarbons. 

*Our emissions targets are calculated from the baseline year of FY2017 to capture initiatives implemented since the transition from government to private ownership.
** ‘Line losses’ is the energy lost in the transmission and distribution of electricity. The cost to reduce our level of ‘line loss (approximately 4%) is prohibitive. As the generation of clean energy increases and decarbonises the wholesale energy supply, the carbon footprint of line losses will decrease. This change will reduce Ausgrid’s carbon footprint.

Line losses explained

Distribution network losses are the difference between the electrical energy that enters our distribution network and the energy that is delivered to our end customer. They are the unavoidable consequence of transferring electricity across the network but can be minimised using appropriate technologies and assets.

Line losses are inherent to the distribution of electricity and cannot be eliminated. As energy passes through our network, a small proportion of this is lost as heat during the transportation. To minimise energy costs to consumers, where practical and cost effective, we undertake activities to reduce line these losses. Our line losses on average are about 4% of the energy we deliver.

As the proportion of renewable energy that we distribute increases as a result of decarbonisation of energy generation in NSW, this will lower the carbon footprint of our line losses.