Jonathan Jutsen comments on Budget and value of Clean Tech grant programs to business

16 May 2013Archived News Climate Change Matters

Jonathan Jutsen, arguably Australia's leading energy efficiency expert, has provided the following comments on the Federal Budget's announcements about the value of Clean Technology Investment Program grant funding to business.

Energy efficiency delivers significant cost reductions

I want to commend the government for retaining Clean Technology Investment Program (CTIP) funding and bringing forward $160m to 2014/15. The program has been very popular with business and has started to release the large pool of undeveloped energy efficiency opportunities in industry, much of which can be attained at a cost of less than $20/tonne. Most industrial businesses can cut 20% from their energy use by implementing projects and business practice improvements that pay back in less than three years, and the CTIP program allows many projects with up to five or six years payback to be considered by businesses as well - in many cases doubling attractive savings.

CTIP needs to continue

Our experience is that if this program, or other similar incentive programs can stay in place for say three years, they can change the culture of organisations - making energy efficiency a part of core business. CTIP has been operating for barely 12 months and many companies are still in the stage of project identification. Another year or two and many of the initial projects identified can be drive to completion.

Value for Australia's manufacturers

If there is a change of government in September we will be encouraging the new leadership to maintain the CTIP program, at least while carbon tax revenues are being collected and until the new Direct Action, reverse auction program comes into operation. We expect that most of the $300m committed to this program in 2013/14 will be spent in energy efficiency measures in the first year because of the pool of savings identified through CTIP and Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) programs. Continuity is the key to maintaining the focus of business on reducing emissions and cutting energy costs. This is particularly important at a time when manufacturing is struggling and is about to be slugged with substantial natural gas price increases once Australian east coast LNG plants come on line.

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