Media release: EEC welcomes energy efficiency downpayment in Federal Budget 26 October 2022
The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) today welcomed the energy efficiency initiatives contained in the 2022-23 October Budget. This week’s Budget contained an important step in the big task of putting energy efficiency to work to reduce energy bills and emissions, including:
- $62.6 million in funding to support small and medium enterprises making energy efficiency upgrades.
- $15.2 million to develop the National Energy Performance Strategy, and
- $4.6 million to expand the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards scheme, as well as improving the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme.
The measures are modest investments in reinvigorating Australia’s energy efficiency efforts but will play an important role in unlocking energy efficient investment in future years, by improving frameworks that help consumers make energy efficient choices.
EEC CEO Luke Menzel particularly welcomed the investment in energy efficiency upgrades for SMEs.
"Australia’s business and industry are hurting as high gas and energy prices take a toll. Smart energy management and efficiency can help cut energy bills right now, and this is an important down-payment", Mr Menzel said.
However, the task of industrial decarbonisation is enormous, and the forthcoming National Energy Performance Strategy will need to set an ambitious program of energy management for Australian businesses.
The National Reconstruction Fund and the Powering the Regions Fund – committed to in this Budget – will also play an important role in helping reinvigorate Australian manufacturing, and enable efficiency and electrification across the economy.
The Budget contained important enabling measures to facilitate the economy’s transition, including improving climate reporting standards for large businesses, as well as re-enabling Treasury’s capability to conduct climate risk and opportunity modelling.
The EEC also welcomed other measures to support transitioning our energy system to being net zero-ready, including the deployment of community batteries, and investments in new energy system architecture.
Mr Menzel noted the foreshadowed Integrated System Plan review could uncover opportunities to harness demand-side measures in the energy system to accelerate the transition and reduce costs.
"Preparing our energy system for a net zero future is incredibly important, but we can be smart about where we put our money. Unleashing energy management to right-size our energy network investments will make every dollar go further, and reduce costs to consumers", he said.
The Government’s housing package also presents opportunities to champion energy efficiency to create healthy, comfortable homes for the most vulnerable in our communities.
"There’s 40,000 new homes in the pipeline which can be efficient, comfortable and affordable. We must use this opportunity to build new housing that not only lowers energy bills for occupants, but will protect their occupants against a changing climate", Mr Menzel said.
Finally, the Government’s jobs and skills investments are part of a critical expansion of the workforce that will build our net zero transformation. These measures in the budget start the job of skilling up a new energy workforce that can build efficient, productive, low-emissions businesses – which is a core enabler of the net zero transition.
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Tim Fisher, Head of Engagement
0414 893 313
Notes to editors:
The Energy Efficiency Council is a not-for-profit membership association for businesses, universities, governments and NGOs.
Founded in 2009, the Council’s members are diverse, but are united by a common cause: building a sophisticated market for energy management products and services that delivers:
- Healthy, comfortable buildings;
- Productive, competitive businesses; and
- An affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for Australia.