In the latest in a string of election promises, the Morrison Government will invest $67 million in new energy efficiency measures if re-elected.
$50 million will go to the Energy Efficient Communities Program to fund more than 2500 grants available to eligible businesses and community organisations to help them save energy by either installing new equipment or by reviewing and improving their energy management.
Eligible small businesses will be able to claim grants of up to $20,000, high-energy using businesses up to $25,000, and community groups up to $12,500.
Steps will be taken to expand the National Australian Built Environment Rating System to include more types of commercial buildings, such as schools, industrial buildings and retail stores.
This will improve and increase energy efficiency in this sector by allowing building owners to understand and benchmark their energy use.
Part of the $67 million will go towards investing in the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings by broadening resources to help homes become more energy efficient, examining options to apply Energy Rating labels to heating appliances, and reviewing the Commercial Building Disclosure Program to expand it to even more high-energy use buildings.
These measures have specifically been designed to provide support to Australian families and businesses without excessive regulation and burden.
The Federal Government has estimated that this investment will deliver an abatement of 63Mt of carbon.
The Energy Efficiency Council has welcomed the investment, but says that far more needs to be done to bring down energy bills.
“We agree with Energy Minister Angus Taylor – action on energy efficiency is essential to cut energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Given that, the Morrison Government’s Energy Efficient Communities Program is a welcome start, but far more needs to be done,” said Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council.
“While welcome, the Government’s commitment is just the first step in the investment we need to really support Australian homes and businesses. The NSW Government alone has committed almost four times as much to energy efficiency programs as the Morrison Government has in this announcement.
“Ramping up ambition on energy efficiency could cut households’ and businesses’ energy bills by over 30 per cent, saving them $7.7 billion a year.”
Mr Menzel said to really cut energy bills, both sides of politics need to commit to a multi-billion dollar package on energy efficiency that includes:
- $500 million in grants to help manufacturers save energy
- Help to improve vulnerable households’ homes
- Upgrading schools, hospitals and other government buildings around the country to improve services and lower their energy bills
- Informing and protecting home buyers and renters by setting minimum standards for rental properties and rating the energy efficiency of homes when they’re sold and leased
- A timeline to introduce fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, which were promised many years ago.