Joint Organisation Net Zero Accelerator (JONZA) Program


The Joint Organisation Net Zero Acceleration program – affectionately called JONZA by participants – builds capacity within councils looking to reduce their carbon emissions. The program enables Joint Organisations to employ an additional staff member to drive projects across their member councils.

Established in March 2023, and already demonstrating emissions reductions and savings, the NSW Government has announced a second year of funding commencing 1 July 2024.

Sustainable Councils program manager Simon Wallace-Pannell described regional council partnerships as vital to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Using JONZA as a network to distribute and share information, opportunities and programs through councils is important. We are also learning about what’s happening on the ground and what’s needed,” Wallace-Pannell said.

The CNSWJO has been helping councils with:

  • Power Purchase Agreements
  • Solar panel installations
  • Network tariff reviews
  • EV Transition Plans and a Regional Strategy
  • EV charging infrastructure
  • Regional energy strategies
  • Emissions Reduction Plans (ERP) and a Regional Opportunities Strategy
  • Net zero training

As JONZA Round 1 wraps up, CNSWJO is planning the activities for JONZA Round 2 which will include:

  • Progressing the findings of the Business Case
  • Identifying the connections between resilience, energy and water and identifying pathways to make evacuation centres resilient during times of disaster
  • Regional opportunities report for Virtual Power Plants for member councils
  • Progressing opportunities in the Emission Reduction Regional Strategy
  • Exploring opportunities for reducing landfill emissions
  • Measuring councils’ scope 3 emissions
  • Exploring sustainable procurement initiatives with councils
  • Progressing opportunities in the Regional Fleet Strategy
  • Coordinating an EV Drive Day
  • Supporting councils with data and project/emissions tracking
  • Support councils to integrate net zero into IP&R
  • Support councils to implement revolving energy funds (REF) and develop a regional REF model
  • Advocacy and submissions

For more information on the JONZA program in Central NSW, please reach out to Kate Barker – kate.barker@

The following video link showcases the purpose of JONZA for regional councils and their JOs, including providing some insights into the achievements over the first 12 months of the program.



Clean Energy Central Program


This program recognises that every Council is at a different stage of the journey to net zero emissions and seeks to accelerate outcomes both at the local level and then achieving value for members and their communities through regional action. The program has been co-designed with Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).

Member councils have worked with a variety of consultants throughout 2021 to develop strategies and plans ranging from Renewable Energy Action Plans, Solar and Storage Assessments, Emissions Reduction Plans, Aquatic Centre Efficiency Audits, and Smart Metering and Switching. The focus in 2022 is to use these plans and implement the actions from them.

DPE is also supporting the JO to procure renewable energy for member councils through a Power Purchase Agreement which is currently underway.

Please see an example of the great work being done in this region as explained by Cr Medcalf, Mayor of Lachlan.