Experts welcome Victorian Budget measures to save energy and grow jobs 27 April 2016

 The Energy Efficiency Council welcomed announcements in the Victorian Budget to save energy and grow jobs, but expressed concern about the lack of funding to upgrade schools and hospitals and save energy.

The Victorian Budget includes:

  • $10 million to upgrade public housing and the homes of vulnerable Victorians. With an estimated 3,000 Australians dying each year during extremes of heat and cold, this measure will save lives and improve households’ quality of life.
  • $3 million to roll out a tool to rate homes’ efficiency, which will help Victorians save energy and money.
  •  $3 million to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) identify ways to reduce their energy bills.
  • An extra $7.56 million to support investment and innovation in ‘new energy technologies’, as part of a broader expansion of the Future Industries Fund.
  • $8.3 million of funding for unspecified measures, which will likely be set out in the State Government’s forthcoming energy efficiency strategy.

“The Energy Efficiency Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s measures to help homes and business save energy, lower bills and create jobs,” said Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council.

Energy efficiency is a huge opportunity to:

  • Create jobs and attract investment. The global market for energy efficiency services and products is over US$350 million per annum and growing rapidly. California has aggressively sought a slice of this global market, and now has over 300,000 people in energy efficiency jobs.
  • Boost productivity and grow the economy. Improving Australia’s energy efficiency by just 1 per cent a year would boost the economy by $26 billion by 2030.
  • Lower energy bills and make homes safer and more comfortable.
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency is critical to support the transformation of our energy sector, and can deliver over 50 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas targets.

The Council expressed concern that the Victorian Budget didn’t appear to fund energy efficiency experts’ number one priority – saving energy by upgrading hospitals, schools and public buildings.

“Experts believe that the number one priority for Victoria must be saving energy by upgrading our hospitals, schools and public buildings. This is critical to grow jobs, develop the energy efficiency sector and improve public facilities, and would also deliver savings of $2 billion and support the retention of Victoria’s AAA credit rating,” said Luke Menzel.

“The Andrews Government has made real inroads to improve the state’s energy efficiency. Last year they strengthened the Victorian Energy Saver Incentive, and today’s budget announced new funding for energy efficiency measures. However, their energy efficiency strategy will be missing a major plank if the Government doesn’t get their own house in order by upgrading their public buildings,” said Luke Menzel.

“We look forward to the release of the Victorian Government’s strategy “Saving Energy, Growing Jobs” and urge Dan Andrews and Lily D’Ambrosio to ensure that this strategy improves the efficiency of schools, hospitals and other public buildings,” said Luke Menzel.

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