The ACT Government’s climate change strategy, AP2 committed to identifying opportunities in Canberra for low-carbon energy networks. District energy systems generate power locally and capture waste heat from power generation to provide heating and cooling services to buildings in the ACT. Generating power locally has many advantages. It can:
- avoid power losses caused by having to transport electricity over long distances
- reduce fuel requirements
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To help facilitate commercial investment in district energy systems, the ACT Government commissioned AECOM, working with Australian National University, to survey major commercial districts in the Territory and map heating and cooling loads. AECOM, in consultation with industry, also assessed commercial options and regulatory issues for district energy systems in the ACT.
In addition to the reports the ACT Government has developed legislation that sets out clear requirements and better protections for the technical performance of utility services including the provision of district energy services. The Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act 2014 was passed in November 2014 which was after the finalisation of the above two reports.