Australia is on its knees while world leaps ahead on energy efficiency 13 June 2019

A new report shows that other countries are delivering huge cuts to energy bills using energy efficiency, while Australia has made almost no progress in the past three years.

The Energy Efficiency Council’s ‘The World’s First Fuel’ report reveals that, if Australia adopted leading international practices in energy efficiency, we could:

  • Slash the energy bills of households and businesses by $7.7 billion a year
  • Create 120,000 extra jobs; and
  • Meet half of Australia’s commitment to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030.

“Energy efficiency is the single, most powerful tool we have to cut energy bills, improve energy security and address climate change. Australia is failing to grasp this golden opportunity – it’s like we’re walking past $100 bills that are just lying on the ground,” said Luke Menzel, CEO, Energy Efficiency Council.

“Australian governments are at the back of the pack on energy efficiency. If Australia replicated best practice from places like the United States, Germany, Japan and China it would be a gamechanger for energy affordability and the economy,” said Menzel.

World leaders are making huge strides forward to improve their energy efficiency, and this is delivering real benefits:

  • Germany – energy efficiency cuts the average household’s energy bills by 30 per cent, saving them AU$790 each year.
  • California – there are already over 300,000 people working in energy efficiency.
  • China – in 2017 they saved more than twice as much energy as Australia used. This avoids the need for scores of coal-fired generators and boosts their competitiveness.

“The good news is Australia can start improving energy efficiency tomorrow, quickly and easily making changes that will cut our costs of living, shore up energy security and improve our response to climate change,” said Menzel.

Menzel said that success policies in other countries, which Australia could adapt, include:

  • Strengthening energy efficiency standards for appliances, homes and cars;
  • Energy efficiency ratings when homes are sold;
  • Ensuring that energy markets work in the interests of consumers; and
  • Helping businesses to find ways to cut their electricity and gas bills.

“Energy efficiency should be front and centre in conversations about energy, climate change and the economy. The cheapest source of energy is cutting energy waste,” said Menzel.

Download ‘The World’s First Fuel: How energy efficiency is reshaping global energy systems’ report here.