Peak industry bodies have called on state and federal governments to leverage energy efficiency measures as a way to aid Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
The Energy Efficiency Council and the Property Council of Australia have argued that quick action from governments could drive a jobs boom in the energy efficiency sector.
The Energy Efficiency Council’s CEO, Luke Menzel, said projects that upgrade the energy performance of buildings and businesses in the manufacturing, resources and agriculture sectors are shovel ready, boost productivity and drive employment.
“Energy efficiency investment creates jobs. Analysis from 2019 found that a focused effort to implement basic energy efficiency improvements to Australian homes and businesses could create well over 100,000 ‘job years’ of work,” Mr Menzel said.
“We need to act to take advantage of energy efficiency’s big job multiplier. Governments that have plans to extend or expand existing energy efficiency programs should bring that work forward. All other governments should make scaling up their energy efficiency programs a top priority.”
Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council, said there are huge opportunities to create and retain energy efficiency jobs in the property and construction sector.
“Upgrading Australia’s energy inefficient stock – hotels, shopping centres, lower-grade offices and older residential housing for example – would require significant labour from the construction and services sectors,” Mr Morrison said.
“Dedicated stimulus measures supporting energy efficiency, improved resilience and accessibility can deliver rapid economic benefits by boosting employment for sole traders and small-to-medium enterprises, while lowering energy costs, improving health and wellbeing outcomes and driving down emissions.
“We know this strategy delivers dividends. California has almost 520,000 clean energy jobs across energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grid and next generation vehicles. Almost 60 per cent of these jobs – more than 310,000 – are in energy efficiency.”