Policy & Projects

Policy & Projects

Current EEC Projects

The Energy Efficiency Council leads, and partners on, a range of projects which build the market for energy efficiency, support efficiency providers and energy users and drive effective partnership across the sector.

Current and recent projects include:

SMEs and community organisations – enabling best practice energy efficiency

Australia’s SMEs and community organisations are a vital part of our economic and social fabric. Collectively SMEs consume 34 per cent of business energy in Australia. However, because they pay more for their energy than bigger businesses, they are responsible for 45 per cent of business energy spending.

Despite numerous programs seeking to aid SMEs and community organisations to realise energy efficiency benefits they remain considerably less likely to implement energy efficiency initiatives than larger business.

SMEs and community organisations engage in a diversity of activities and range significantly both in size and capacity of organisational management. There is no single initiative that can deliver the scale and range of necessary interventions across the SME and NFP sectors.

Not all energy efficiency opportunities are economic and targeted approaches are essential – it makes sense to focus effort where action delivers the greatest energy efficiency saving for the program investment and to do this requires targeting the right kind of business at the right time.

Programs that only address one barrier to energy efficiency investment will fail - Upgrading an SME’s or community organisation’s energy efficiency requires a complex series of steps that includes decision-making, engaging third-parties and implementation. Impediments at any stage of this process will prevent energy efficiency improvement, and programs that only tackle a sub-set of the barriers will have limited impact.

The Energy Efficiency Council calls for the establishment of a suite of foundational initiatives that will ensure opportunities for all to improve their energy efficiency and to pursue a select number of intensive interventions targeting the areas of greatest energy efficiency potential through end-to-end support in both decision-making and implementation.

Click here to view full report.

Connecting SMMs with expert energy efficiency support

Australia’s small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) just don’t know who to trust to provide energy efficiency products and services. Connecting SMEs to trusted and skilled energy efficiency service providers is critical for developing energy solutions for business that incorporate cost effective energy efficiency.

The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) has established the critical success factors for connecting energy users to skilled service providers. The project used the manufacturing sector, Australia’s largest user of industrial energy and dominated by SMEs, as the test case.

The report support the need for action in three different areas.

Upskill energy efficiency specialist and supporting trades – through investment in energy productivity skills development and certificatio

Improve transparency in the market – through product standards and certification and mechanisms such as government approved supplier panels

Provide businesses with end-to-end support throughout their energy efficiency journey including investigating new initiatives such as bulk purchasing.

Click here to view full report.

Building Retrofit Toolkit

In recent years, high energy efficiency performance has become a ‘ticket to play’ in many sectors of the commercial office property market – particularly those larger office buildings occupied by large corporate and government tenants.

However, there is a significant proportion of the commercial office sector that still face significant barriers to realising these energy savings and the associated benefits. These buildings tend to be the B, C and D-grade buildings commonly defined as the ‘mid-tier’.

With as much as 80% the 64 million square metres of commercial office space in Australia classified as mid-tier, the scale of unrealised energy efficiency opportunity is enormous.

With the support of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), the EEC and Property Council of Australia undertook this scoping study, delivering a five-year project plan to uplift the energy efficiency business skills and action of mid-tier office building owners.

Click here to view full report.

Building Energy Upgrade Information For Building Owners And Managers

A successful building energy upgrade of any scale needs a multi-disciplinary team with a “can-do” attitude, and strong management and leadership to ensure that the different technical disciplines work together in an integrated way to deliver the best possible outcome.

With support from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the Energy Efficiency Council has recently launched an updated website and brochures to guide building owners, facility managers and other buyers of building energy efficiency services in engaging suitably qualified and experienced service providers.

Building Upgrade Services Directory

Developed by in the Energy Efficiency Council in partnership with the City of Sydney, the Building Upgrade Services Directory is designed to give owners and managers of commercial buildings and multi-unit residential dwellings information that assists them to identify service providers they can trust.

The Directory brings together information the key industry bodies, professional associations and certifications whose membership includes experts in building upgrades.

View the Building Upgrade Services Directory.

Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme

The Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme provides professional certification for the individuals that lead and manage comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings,  delivering better energy efficiency outcomes for customers.

The Scheme was initiated and is operated by the Energy Efficiency Council on behalf of the sector and was designed under the supervision of an independent Steering Committee made up of experts that work in industry, government and the property sector. This Steering Committee continues to oversee the operation of the Scheme. 

Visit the Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme website.

Survey of national opinion on electricity prices and energy efficiency

In late 2013 the Energy Efficiency Council, CHOICE and Brotherhood of St Laurence undertook a major national survey on household views on energy.  The survey found that householders are more concerned about electricity bills than other cost-of-living expenses and want their State Governments to help reduce energy costs through energy efficiency.

Click here to read more.


Survey of community views by YouGov Galaxy
April 2018

In many parts of Australia electricity prices have almost doubled and wholesale gas prices have more than tripled over the last decade. Many Australians are struggling with high energy bills. Helping homes and businesses save energy is a highly effective way to reduce energy bills while improving energy security and sustainability.

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), the Property Council of Australia (PCA) and the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) all share the goal of ensuring that energy bills are affordable for homes and businesses. In February 2018 these groups commissioned YouGov Galaxy to survey on the views of Australians on energy policy, with a focus on energy efficiency.

Click here to download the Survey results.

Quick snapshot of some of the results:

  • 90 per cent of voters think that it is important or very important that governments help reduce households’ and businesses’ energy bills
  • Energy efficiency was the most popular energy policy option:
    • 88 per cent of voters support government investment in energy efficiency, and just 5 per cent oppose it, giving a net support of 83 per cent.
    • Voters were more divided on whether government should invest in new coal-fired generators, with just 4 per cent net support, and
    • More voters opposed than supported reducing incentives for renewable energy and energy storage, with 16 per cent net opposition.
  • Voters supported a wide range of specific energy efficiency policies, including:
    • 79 per cent support for incentives to upgrade commercial buildings
    • 80 per cent support for minimum standards for rental homes to ensure that they are safe, comfortable and have low energy bills, and
    • 92 per cent support for upgrading the energy efficiency of public buildings such as schools and hospitals.

Raw data from the survey can be downloaded here.


Survey of national opinion on electricity prices and energy efficiency

In late 2013 the Energy Efficiency Council, CHOICE and the Brotherhood of St Laurence undertook a major national survey on household views on energy.

The survey found that householders are more concerned about electricity bills than other cost-of-living expenses and want their State Governments to help reduce energy costs.  CHOICE's chief executive officer, Alan Kirkland, said the survey revealed that 84 per cent of Australian households are concerned or very concerned about energy costs, despite them spending more on other cost-of-living expenses.

"Electricity prices have risen by more than 50% over the past five years, largely driven by increased costs for poles and wires, so it is no surprise that households are more concerned about electricity bills than any other cost of living" Mr Kirkland said.  "When they try to shop around for a better deal, they find it difficult to compare the confusing array of offers from energy retailers."

Nationally, 84%of Australians felt it was important or very important for their State Government to help reduce energy bills.  The breakdowns were 90% in South Australia, 85% in NSW, 84% in Western Australia, 83% in Queensland and 82% in Victoria.

The Energy Efficiency Council's chief executive officer, Rob Murray-Leach, said households were asked whether they supported or opposed a range of actions that State Government could take to help reduce energy bills.

"The strongest support in every state, and by a significant margin, was for State Governments to help homes and businesses save energy," Mr Murray-Leach said.  "Nationally, there was a 79%support for action on energy efficiency and less than 2% opposition to it.  Householders seemed to think that this was a "no-brainer"."

Damian Sullivan, Senior Manager of the Brotherhood's Equity in Response to Climate Change, said Australians have "long supported the idea we should assist low-income households to pay for essential services like electricity and the survey shows continued support for this approach.  This makes sense because low income and disadvantaged households are the most vulnerable to high energy prices."

"Along with pushing ahead with energy market reform, State Governments need to do more to assist low income and disadvantaged households improve the energy efficiency of their homes," he said.  "Importantly, householders don't want action for energy affordability to come at the expense of a renewable energy."

The least popular action in the survey was reducing incentives for renewable energy such as solar power, which had a negative approval rating in every state.

Mr Murray-Leach said there was a danger the national debate about the carbon bill meant other expenditures that have an even bigger impact on energy costs, like poles and wires, could be ignored or overlooked.

"We call on State Governments to revitalise their work to keep energy affordable and help households cope with higher energy costs."

Click on survey results below: