We dare to dream and think big, yet we ground our ideas in real-world, practical solutions. We recognise the need for robust information, knowledge and data to provide the evidence base for decision-making and we underpin our work with a strong suite of skills and technical and theoretical expertise in modelling and forecasting, monitoring and evaluation, and strategic planning.
Energy sector governance and decision-making has traditionally been highly centralised. Movement towards a decentralized, smarter and more democratic energy sector requires all parties to have access to high quality data and information. This includes energy users, market-based service providers, and policy makers in the context of quality data evaluating policy outcomes to inform future decisions. This area of work is about developing the research questions, systems and processes to bring industry partners together to effectively collate, analyse and communicate this information. We have a dedicated focus on developing tools founded on open data, standardised data protocols, and freely available Intellectual Property, to create change and unlock innovation.
Green Electricity Guide
The Green Electricity Guide ranks the environmental performance of all retailers selling electricity to Australian households. The project to upgrade the Guide was a partnership between ISF, Choice, The Total Environment Centre and Greenpeace Australia Pacific with funding from an Energy Consumers Australia grant. [read more]
Home Power Savings Evaluation
The Power Savers Project (PSP) was a three-year, three-million dollar initiative under the Commonwealth Government Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) trialling residential energy efficiency retrofits and behaviour change in 1,010 low-income households in the Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra regions of New South Wales. The PSP was delivered by a Consortium including lead organisation Nature Conservation Council, United Voice NSW, Solahart and the Institute for Sustainable Futures. [read more]
Environmental Data Portal
ISF and National Information Communications Technology (NICTA) were engaged by the City of Sydney (CoS) to develop an open data platform for their environmental sustainability data. The platform will include a broad range of data including planning, energy, water, waste, and transportation datasets. ISF and NICTA have assisted CoS with developing and implementing a template to assist with the initial data inventory.
Jobs in the Green Economy
The Institute investigated the effect of transition to low carbon electricity supplies on employment in the energy sector in NSW. The research modelled job numbers associated with different renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and services, and made projections of how these numbers would change under different low carbon scenarios. It expands on similar studies by developing a methodology for identifying the specific occupations underlying those areas of job growth in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This enabled projections in electrical trades, engineering and other relevant occupations in NSW out to 2020. Based on desktop analysis and industry consultation, the research also identified gaps in continuing development training available to electricians if the industry is to benefit from employment changes. Recommendations on key areas where continuing professional development training needs to be strengthened to assist the industry to deliver the services required by these low carbon scenarios were made based on this modelling.
The purpose of this Review was to ensure the optimal performance of the National GreenPower Accreditation Program so that it maintains its relevance and effectiveness in the current and emerging energy and environmental policy and regulatory context, also taking into account consumer behaviour and industry conditions. The Review is being managed by NSW Trade & Investment through Division of Resources and Energy. NSW Trade & Investment is the current GreenPower Program Manager for both accreditation and marketing functions and is the Chair of the National GreenPower Steering Group (NGPSG).
Network Opportunity Maps
The Network Opportunity Mapping project is developing free, annually updated, online maps of network constraints, planned investment and the potential value of decentralised energy resources in networks across the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM). [read more]
Scoping study for evaluation of energy efficiency programs
ISF was engaged to investigate various methodologies to evaluate the effectiveness of a number of DECCW's energy efficiency programs by analysing billing data. An approach to initiating, piloting and running the evaluation that considered data, expertise and resourcing requirements, as well as an idealised timeline and milestones for the process was recommended.
ISF worked with Greenpeace to footprint direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with Greenpeace’s operations to identify opportunities to reduce or offset emissions. ISF applied a Carbon Management Framework to:
- measure all direct CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions of the operations of Greenpeace Australia Pacific Ltd.
- identify areas where emission reductions are possible and make recommendations.
- audit all Greenpeace’s operations that produce indirect emissions and rank these in order according to the ability to reduce these emissions.
ISF developed a reporting format and tools that will enable Greenpeace to measure and report their own emissions in future years. In addition estimated indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of products and services in an office environment, including paper products, stationery, printing services and couriers. ISF developed new methods for assessing indirect emissions from these products and services that will be applicable in other situations.