New Steps towards a National Strategy for Energy Efficiency

01 May 2009Archived News Energetics in the News

 

A national approach to energy efficiency is taking shape following the April meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), and more recently with new funding announcements in the Federal Budget.

 

 

At the COAG meeting at the end of April, the States and the Federal Government signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and released a draft National Strategy on Energy Efficiency.

Follow the link to read the MOU

The Governments agreed that while existing initiatives are making important contributions, "the need to transition to a low carbon future gives renewed impetus to deliver a step change in energy efficiency" . (National Strategy on Energy Efficiency 2009-2020, Memorandum of Understanding, Preamble).

The policy development process is continuing over the next few months with an Intergovernmental Agreement on the final ten-year strategy to be finalised by the COAG meeting scheduled for July 2009. The draft strategy includes:

  • A commitment to develop a national approach to encourage companies to develop internal systems to assess and prioritise energy efficiency opportunities - suggesting that the Governments will be aiming to streamline business energy efficiency programs ;
  • A proposal to extend the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program to smaller users;
  • Implementation of a national Energy Efficiency Skills Initiative to increase access to training;
  • Achieving nationally consistent standards for energy efficiency audits and assessments;
  • COAG to direct the Australian Energy Market Commission to undertake further investigation into the barriers to demand side management in electricity markets; and
  • New and continuing improvements to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) for all buildings.

There has also been a monetary injection for energy efficiency measures from last week's Federal Budget. Measures include new funds for the Commonwealth to implement eight energy efficiency measures ranging from expansion of minimum performance standards for appliances and equipment and implementation of the new requirements for commercial buildings to disclose their energy performance and improvements to the Building Code for commercial buildings.

Also confirmed in the budget were the new energy efficiency measures announced as part of the deferral of the start date for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). The Government is keen to see that energy efficiency continues to improve in the period before the CPRS start up and has made $200 million available to encourage new action on energy efficiency in the 2009/10 financial year. The details of this funding are still being finalised but broadly speaking will be available for advice on the operation of the CPRS, funds to assist businesses to identify energy efficiency opportunities and grants towards energy efficiency capital improvements.

Energetics believes that these new energy efficiency initiatives are an important opportunity for all large energy users to update their energy efficiency strategies. Businesses which take steps now to reduce the carbon intensity of their operations, will be better placed to manage the impact of a carbon price on their total energy costs. Businesses undertaking energy efficiency programs not only reduce carbon emissions, they open up opportunities to identify and realise cost savings.

Energetics, with 25 years of experience in energy and carbon management, can help your business identify the range of energy efficiency opportunities in readiness for the new focus on energy efficiency.

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