Reliable and affordable water, electricity and gas are essential to most businesses. Households also rely on access to affordable energy and water for everyday cooking and cleaning, as well as for health, comfort and recreation. There are opportunities to ensure that water and energy services are reliable and available at a reasonable cost which will make it easier for businesses to operate and invest, and provide households and businesses with greater certainty to enable better planning.

Draft recommendation 5.1: Set a vision and a plan for water

Outline the long-term vision for the whole water sector (including rural water, wastewater, stormwater, flood management) and develop a plan to meet the challenges facing the sector.

Draft recommendation 5.2: Issue Statements of Expectations

Issue Statements of Expectations to state-owned water corporations to provide clear guidance on the Government’s plans and direction.

Draft recommendation 5.3: Fight fragmentation in NSW water services

Bring together leaders from all key NSW water sector organisations to coordinate and deliver the vision outlined in the planned state water strategy.

Identify more permanent governance measures to solve the fragmentation of water responsibilities across New South Wales.

Draw on the experience of the Infrastructure NSW South Creek Sector Review to identify other areas in New South Wales that would benefit from integrated land use and water planning.

Draft recommendation 5.4: Improve wastewater pricing

Sydney Water should continue to work with IPART to estimate long-run marginal costs for its wastewater catchment areas and consider implications for pricing.

Draft recommendation 5.5: Engage on water recycling

Coordinate with state-owned water corporations to develop and implement a public engagement program for recycled water. Explore the establishment of a Demonstration Plant in Sydney to help people understand the water cycle.

Draft recommendation 5.6: Assess alternatives for local water utilities

Identify and assess alternative models to help local water utilities meet quality and reliability standards.

Draft recommendation 5.7: Monitor and refine scarcity pricing

Monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the new Sydney Water scarcity pricing model in managing demand and use this to guide water demand management policy.

Draft recommendation 5.8: Review and redesign NSW’s Business Sustainability Index 

Review NSW’s Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) scheme to ensure it meets both environmental and economic objectives.

Draft recommendation 5.9: Develop a reliability system that reflects consumer needs

Revisit the NSW Energy Security Target in the context of reliability standards endorsed by the Commonwealth of Australian Government (COAG) Energy Council:

  • ​If it imposes greater reliability requirements, demonstrate that this is consistent with consumers’ willingness to pay.
  • ​Otherwise, adopt the COAG Energy Council standards in its place.
Draft recommendation 5.10: Adopt an integrated market-oriented climate change and energy policy

Commit to a contestable private energy market based on technology-neutral, competitive neutrality principles.

Create a NSW-specific emissions intensity scheme to help optimise investment in electricity, having regard to climate change mitigation objectives and the pace of innovation.

Draft recommendation 5.11: Price electricity to reflect costs

Evaluate options for rolling out smart meters to all consumers and for time-of-use, cost-reflective electricity pricing.

Draft recommendation 5.12: Rationalise energy regulation

Establish a single NSW Energy Regulator and remove the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s responsibility for regular monitoring of the retail electricity market.

Draft recommendation 5.13: Better manage multiple land uses

Review the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy and Strategic Release Framework to ensure they maximise the balance of costs and benefits to industry and the community.

Draft recommendation 5.14: Improve and rationalise energy rebates

Improve efficiency and accessibility of administering energy rebates and support programs by incorporating them into the Government Made Easy: Tell Us Once initiative.

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