Victoria’s massive energy management investment to drive jobs boom 24 November 2020

Today the Andrews Government doubled down on last week’s record investment in energy efficiency in the residential sector with a swathe of smart stimulus measures targeted at businesses, community groups and government operations. Together, this $1 billion energy management package will create thousands of local jobs and ensure every part of the economy is supported through Victoria’s economic recovery.

The Energy Efficiency Council’s CEO, Luke Menzel said “Last week the Andrews Government took a leadership position on energy efficiency, with a record $797 million investment in energy efficiency upgrades, with a focus on social housing residents and concession card holders.”

“Today they doubled down, extending the benefits of energy efficiency stimulus to every part of the Victorian economy, and ensuring no business is left behind.”

Today’s budget includes $91 million of energy management support for Victorian businesses and community groups, including:

  • A $31 million co-investment fund for large energy users to transform the way industry uses energy and helping businesses save money, to be spent in the next twelve months;
  • A $30 million top up for the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan to support Victorian farmers to improve their energy management;
  • $9 million for Victorian Energy Upgrade (VEU) incentives targeted at small businesses, to accompany the $38 million going towards 15,000 solar rebates for businesses; and
  • $21 million for climate change community action, which will include funding to help community groups install renewable energy systems, storage and energy efficiency improvements in community buildings.

In addition to supporting Victorian businesses, the Andrews Government is leading by example, committing almost $100 million over four years to increase the energy performance of its own operations, including:

  • $40 million for LED lighting and solar PV in public hospitals; and
  • $59.9 million to the Greener Government Buildings (GGB) Program and creating a revolving fund that will see energy savings reinvested in further buildings upgrades for years to come.

The budget also included $10 million for supporting the clean economy workforce, including setting up a Clean Economy Skills and Jobs Taskforce, which would develop a Clean Energy Workforce Development Strategy and oversee the rollout of a $6 million for a Clean Economy Workforce Capacity Building Fund.

Energy experts applauded these investments. “Today’s announcements bring Victoria’s total commitment to energy management stimulus investments to $1 billion.”

“This is smart stimulus. We know that energy efficiency upgrades have the biggest jobs multiplier of any form of clean energy investments. Victoria is harnessing that jobs multiplier to supercharge their post-COVID recovery, creating thousands of good, local jobs and cutting carbon along the way,” said Luke Menzel.

This major new stimulus effort is consistent with evidence from bodies like the International Monetary Fund and the International Energy Agency, who call energy efficiency a ‘job-creation machine’, and have advocated for it to be put at the heart of economic recovery programs post COVID-19.

Media contact: Rob Murray-Leach, 0414 065 556