Local government councils in the Northern Territory are being encouraged to install rooftop solar, battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations and other energy saving technologies through an energy efficiency-focused grant scheme launched by the Territory Labor government.
The Territory’s minister for local government Gerry McCarthy opened the $2 million grant scheme for applications on Monday, as part of his government’s Roadmap to Renewables agenda.
He said that lighting upgrades, shade structures, pool covers to reduce evaporation, solar hot water and energy efficient pumps were among the initiatives councils could implement to help to reduce energy usage and cost and cut their greenhouse emissions.
Window glazing, meter upgrades, solar powered bores and water storage and water heating and cooling system efficiency upgrades were also listed as examples for potential grant applications.
“Our Roadmap to Renewables report recommended a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 for household and business electricity costs and this program will support such energy innovation,” McCarthy said.
“This investment will encourage councils to move to better energy efficient infrastructure and products and will also help to reduce costs to consumers and taxpayers.
The push to make local councils more energy efficient is part of a raft of reforms in the Northern Territory, including the establishment of a competitive wholesale electricity market – to be called the Northern Territory Electricity Market (NTEM).
The government has also promised said to review solar feed-in tariffs, in an effort to encourage the Territory’s existing solar households to add battery storage.
The NT is also aiming to reach 50 per cent renewables by 2030, an effort that is being guided by its Roadmap to Renewables report, which is expected to help deliver some 400MW or more of mostly solar capacity in the territory over the next decade.
Councils have until April 5 to apply for one-off Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Grant funding, according to the website.