Finally, a Wake Up Call on Energy Efficiency

Finally, a Wake Up Call on Energy Efficiency

In welcoming the Government’s energy efficiency task force report, the Australian Conservation Foundation says improving efficiency 30% by 2020 will help Australia catch up with countries like China, while Rob Murray-Leach, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council and an advisor to the Task Group says this is a wake-up call for Australia. “It shows that energy efficiency programs would strengthen the economy, cut energy bills and slash carbon emissions.”

From the Australian Conservation Foundation (8 October 2010):

Energy efficiency and price on pollution both needed

The recommendations of the Prime Minister’s taskforce on energy efficiency will help reduce electricity bills for Australian households and businesses and should be implemented immediately, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“This report on energy efficiency joins the chorus of voices in Australia calling for a price on pollution to help us make the switch to a cleaner economy,” ACF executive director Don Henry said.

“A target to improve the energy efficiency of the Australian economy by 30 per cent by 2020 will help Australia catch up with countries like China, which has improved its efficiency by 20 per cent over the last five years.

“Under current Government policy, Australia’s fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles will be a quarter of a century behind China’s by the time they are made law in 2024.

“We urge the Government to fast track this report’s recommendations for mandatory fuel efficiency standards for light vehicles.

“The recommendation to implement the proposed Henry Tax Review reform of the fringe benefits tax benefits for vehicles is welcome.

“Further reforms could save the government $222 million dollars a year and further cut pollution.

“The recommendation for a national energy savings initiative to replace existing state schemes is welcome and should be swiftly put into practice.

“ACF urges the government to begin implementing these reforms now in parallel with the necessary introduction of a price on pollution.”


Media Release from the Energy Efficiency Council (8 October 2010):

Task Group report a wake-up call

The energy efficiency industry welcomed the Prime Minister’s Task Group on Energy Efficiency report as a serious start to making Australia a competitive, low-carbon economy.

“This report is a wake-up call for Australia. It shows that energy efficiency programs would strengthen the economy, cut energy bills and slash carbon emissions. This is a win-win-win,” said Rob Murray-Leach, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council and an advisor to the Task Group.

Energy efficiency saves money simply because it uses less of a valuable resource. Modelling on just one measure, the National Energy Savings Initiative, found that it would save households up to $296 a year. This means that Australia has a huge opportunity to cut its carbon emissions and save money.

ClimateWorks Australia estimates that improving Australia’s energy efficiency would save homes and businesses $5 billion a year and cut emissions by 50 million tonnes a year.

Energy efficiency is the single biggest opportunity to cut global carbon emissions. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) estimates that 55 per cent of emission cuts in Australia to 2050 will need to come from energy efficiency.

“The rest of the world worked out that energy efficiency would boost their global competitiveness some time ago, and have been steaming ahead. In the meantime, we’ve been pouring money down the drain. Australia has a fantastic opportunity to turn this around,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

The report identifies a range of barriers that there are a range of barriers to energy efficiency. The report states that this means that we need multiple policies to drive energy efficiency, including a price on carbon price and dedicated energy efficiency policies.

“We have to have a price on carbon to meet Australia’s 2020 emission reduction targets. However, a price on carbon needs to be accompanied by energy efficiency policies – this will dramatically lower the cost of meeting our targets,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“The five key policies recommended by the Task Group are smart. In particular, we urge all parties to adopt the recommendations for a national energy efficiency goal and a national energy savings initiative,” said Rob Murray-leach.

“The Energy Saving Initiative is mainly about making sure that we invest in energy efficiency when it’s cheaper than investing in new energy supply. This helps lower energy prices. It’s nothing new – California and the UK have been this for years,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“The Coalition and Greens have previously proposed energy efficiency schemes, so we anticipate cross-party support for this initiative,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“However, the report is much bigger than just the big five recommendations. There are important ideas throughout the report, particularly for industry, buildings, cogeneration and the energy market. The community really needs to have a serious discussion about these ideas,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“This report has drawn a line in the sand. We can either continue to bury our head in the sand, or take up the challenge to make Australia a competitive, low-carbon economy.” Said Rob Murray-Leach.


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