New public-sector energy agencies to help households manage bills, dump coal and gas and reap the benefits of renewable energy.

The Greens' vision for a secure energy future for NSW that stabilises household power bills, eliminates greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation and creates tens of thousands of new jobs across NSW. The plan would position the state as a world leader in the fast growing clean energy economy.

The centrepiece of the plan is the creation of Energy Service Agencies within the public sector to support the transition of households and small businesses from coal-based electricity and gas, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Households and small businesses would no longer be passive consumers of electricity. Instead they would become active participants in the electricity industry, trading roof top solar electricity and other renewable sources across a publicly-owned network. This will enable them to manage their use to minimise their costs and assist the network transition to clean energy sources.

Households will be critical players in the  transition to 100% renewable energy in NSW.

Combined with large scale approaches to decarbonise electricity generation, including a timetable to phase out coal fired generators, the combined efforts of households to reduce their fossil fuel consumption can have a profound and transformative effect on future of the electricity generation in this state.

The technical and financial challenges for households to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and cut their power bills can only be provided by an agency that is free from the profit incentives that drive private sector electricity businesses to exploit consumers.

That's why the Greens would create new public sector energy service agencies. We believe families need an ally they can trust as they make the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

The economic and employment benefits of the Greens plan to transition to 100% renewable electricity generation are substantial.  It would bring more than 70,000 new jobs to NSW and serve as a platform for the development of an export-oriented manufacturing and services industry.

Rapid technological development and falling costs for renewable energy sources like wind generators and solar power mean that it is now feasible and affordable to escape the expense and pollution of coal mining and coal-seam gas drilling. 

The Greens have already announced other initiatives that would help position NSW as a world-leader in clean energy, including:

  • State legislation to insulate NSW’s current and future renewable energy generators against any reduction in the federal government's Renewable Energy Target; and
  • Scrapping the Baird government's draft wind farm planning guidelines and providing a more effective and transparent development assessment pathway.

A 100% renewable energy NSW is possible, affordable and essential. But it will not happen as long as the old parties remain committed to coal and gas and continue to frustrate and undermine wind and solar.










Energy Service Agencies




Transition Financing




* Rooftop solar




* Gas replacement




* Energy efficiency




Low income assistance




Smart networks











Start-up funding for the energy service agencies would be recovered from benefit sharing, where the long term savings in household energy costs would be shared between the consumer as lower bills and the agency as repayments on capital.

Media Release

Why change is needed?

Coal and gas fired electricity generation in NSW produces 60 million tonnes of CO2  each year, giving this state one of the most carbon-intensive economies in the world.

While the environmental and health costs of continued fossil fuel consumption are unacceptable, the cost to households is also rising.

Electricity bills have doubled for the average household. Gas bills are now following close behind as exports from Queensland have thrown NSW consumers into competition for gas with the high-priced global market.

Studies from the University of Melbourne, the University of NSW and the operator of the national grid (AEMO) have established that with existing technologies a reliable and secure electricity supply can be maintained without burning fossil fuels.

As the world's attention is increasingly turning to dangerous climate change, pressure will come on NSW to reduce the carbon-intensity of its electricity industry.

Making the transition on the state's own timetable, rather than having it imposed on us, will be cheaper and will create opportunities for more in-state employment.

While there are just 1,800 jobs in NSW's coal-fired power stations and approximately 4,000 in mining the coal to fuel them,  a number of studies have suggested more than 70,000 new jobs can be created in NSW in clean energy. These include research, development, design, manufacturing, installation, maintenance and marketing, as well as providing technical and financial assistance to households.

Many of these jobs will never eventuate if NSW does not move soon to decarbonise its electricity.

A rapid transition would lay the foundations for an export-oriented industry in both manufactured components and systems and technical services and expertise.

What's needed to  make the change?

Phasing out coal and gas fired electricity will take more than just replacing the with wind and solar.

Renewable energy sources require much less back up if households are active participants, managing their own usage to better match the available generation, trading energy from their own rooftop systems and purchasing from other clean sources.

The smart grid, that allows energy to be traded point to point between households and other participants requires a reworking of  the existing wires and poles network. The flow of information will be as important the flow of energy.

Much of the $17 billion investment in transmission and distribution since 2009 has been in the wrong kind of technology, locking NSW into a centralised and expensive supply based on coal and gas.

The Baird-Stoner government's plan to pass control of much of the electricity network to private hands would create a political and financial barrier to the remaking of the network.

Private owners would strenuously resist any changes that interfere with their capacity to make substantial profits and would refuse to make the investments needed to create the smart grid. 

The 21st century energy vision would bring down household power bills and break the stranglehold of the big private-sector energy corporations.