Media release: Budget 2023: A new dawn for energy efficiency 09 May 2023
The Energy Efficiency Council tonight congratulated the Albanese Government for ushering in a new era of energy efficiency in Australia.
With almost $2.9 billion in measures for energy efficiency, electrification and business decarbonisation, this budget supercharges efforts to lower emissions and cut energy bills by driving landmark energy performance improvements right across the economy.
Lower energy bills and healthy, comfortable homes
Tonight’s budget includes $1.3 billion to improve the energy performance of residential buildings, beginning the journey toward lower energy bills and a healthy, comfortable, resilient home for every Australian. This package includes:
- $1 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to upgrade the energy performance of homes, and
- $300 million to upgrade social and public housing in partnership with states and territories.
“This is a one-two punch to high energy bills,” said EEC CEO Luke Menzel.
“Fixing the energy performance of social housing is one of the best things we can do to shield the most vulnerable in our community from needlessly high energy bills.”
“And the Government has tasked the CEFC with its next great challenge: putting comfortable, healthy homes that are affordable to run within reach for average Australian families.”
“The CEFC has been partnering with banks to provide low cost finance for energy performance improvements for a while, but these programs have been relatively small. This $1 billion dollar investment supercharges that work, and not a moment too soon.”
“As the Treasurer said tonight, this is a common‑sense program that will help family budgets and reduce emissions.”
“To reach net zero by 2050, millions of Australian homes need upgrades to boost energy efficiency and electrify appliances. This is a huge undertaking, and today’s budget commitment is a great start.”
Funding for home energy performance rating and appliance standards
The Government has also committed to helping householders understand the energy performance of their home through funding an expansion of the Nationwide House Energy Rating System, as well as expanding the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards program.
“We know minimum standards and energy ratings work. Yes, we need more energy performance labels on more appliances. But more than anything, we need an energy label on the biggest purchase of all: the family home.” Mr Menzel said.
Investing in efficient, decarbonised business for a competitive net zero economy
The EEC also commended the Government on its commitment to decarbonising and improving the energy performance of businesses small and large. The new $310 million Small Business Energy Incentive provides a bonus tax incentive to small businesses to upgrade their energy performance, and provides meaningful help for small and medium businesses continuing to struggle with high energy prices.
The Government has also committed $1.25 billion to decarbonising Australian industry through the Powering the Regions Fund, complementing the reforms to Safeguard Mechanism with support for industry to transition.
Mr Menzel said this Budget fires the starters gun on the race to achieve net zero by 2050.
“Energy efficiency helps address some of the biggest challenges we face as a nation: Achieving our emissions reduction targets while lowering our energy bills.”
“It’s great to see the government recognise that, and back-in businesses that want to make smart investments to cut their energy use and drive up productivity.”
The start of a journey
Tonight’s Budget marks the most significant investment in energy performance in years. It represents a new dawn for energy efficiency, energy management and electrification, as well as a new, collaborative approach which will help ensure we make the most of our nation’s abundant renewable energy resources.
Mr Menzel congratulated the Government on its engagement with stakeholders to deliver strong outcomes through its forthcoming National Energy Performance Strategy.
“The EEC has worked closely with the Government to highlight the benefits of improved energy performance. Tonight’s measures, which reflect a number of recommendations put forward by the EEC and our partners, build momentum for a step change in Australia’s energy performance.”
“This time last year, Australia was ranked last in the developed world for policy and practice in energy performance. Tonight’s Budget demonstrated we have a government committed to ensuring that never happens again.”
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EEC Head of Engagement
0414 893 313