Efficiency industry welcomes COAG Energy Council commitment to energy productivity 24 July 2015

State and federal governments commit to driving energy productivity across the Australian economy

Today the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) welcomed the release of a special statement from the COAG Energy Council committing federal, state and territory governments to work together to develop and implement a National Energy Productivity Plan.

The statement can be downloaded by clicking here.

Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council, said 'This is a sensible step forward, which ensures that work happening around energy efficiency and productivity in Canberra, the states, and through COAG is properly coordinated.'

However Mr. Menzel noted that the hard work of driving a step change in energy productivity is still ahead of us. 'We have a clear consensus that making the most out of every unit of energy is a national priority. The effort that went into achieving that consensus is to be commended. But industry is looking to Governments around the nation to back those sentiments with sensible, stable policy which drives the step change in energy productivity we know is possible.'

Energy productivity a key component of global competitiveness

Energy productivity – the productive output from each unit of energy consumed – has become a major issue for global competitiveness. The EEC's CEO, Luke Menzel, said: 'China has dramatically improved its energy productivity in the last decade, and the United States has adopted a goal to double its energy productivity by 2030. However, we've barely tapped the potential of energy efficiency and other drivers of energy productivity in Australia.'

Improving energy productivity will:

  • Raise business competitiveness. For example, the Federal Government's Energy White Paper, released earlier this year, found that the energy savings potential in Australia’s industrial sector alone was over $1.2 billion in the five years to 2011.
  • Lower household energy bills by reducing expensive peak demand, and helping families make the most of every unit of energy they use.
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy. The International Energy Agency has found that energy efficiency is the most important tool to cut emissions, delivering 40 per cent of the emissions cuts we need to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius.

Luke Menzel said 'Australia is getting left behind in the energy productivity race. COAG has set itself a deadline of November 2015 to have a framework for action in place. Given this commitment from governments around the nation, I'm optimistic that 2016 will be the year we start making up that ground.'