Efficiency Insight - July 2020

Efficiency Insight is the Energy Efficiency Council's monthly energy management update for members, partners and stakeholders.

Video update from the Council's CEO, Luke Menzel

We're changing it up this month; I've recorded a short video that covers the current lockdowns in Victoria, the recent National Summit on energy efficiency and Australia's economic recovery, and the ongoing campaign for putting energy efficiency at the heart of stimulus measures.

Click on the image above – or here – to take a look. I hope you enjoy the rest of this month's newsletter.

Stay safe,

Luke Menzel
Chief Executive Officer
Energy Efficiency Council

Connect with Luke on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Policy update

National Summit event summary

Efficiency Leaders with Liz Fletcher of Engevity

Welcome to new Energy Efficiency Council members

Online professional development: CEM, CPD and more

Expert view: Renovation rescue

To subscribe to receive future editions of Efficiency Insight direct to your inbox, click here.

Policy update

Rob Murray-Leach, Head of Policy, Energy Efficiency Council

As Luke discusses in his video update above, the momentum for massive action on energy efficiency has been building in Australia, but it is also picking up pace around the world.

In Australia there is now a strong consensus among industry-bodies and think tanks that we will need a major stimulus package to support economic recovery, and that investment in energy efficiency should be a key part of that. Supporters for action on energy efficiency include the Business Council of Australia, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Industry Group and the Property Council of Australia.

On 29 June Beyond Zero Emissions released its Million Jobs Plan, which recommends a series of investments in areas like energy efficiency, renewable energy and electric vehicles to create 1.8 million job-years of employment (a ‘job-year’ means one job for one person for one year). The largest source of employment is the proposal to renovate 2.5 million Australian homes to make them energy efficient, which would create 500,000 job-years of employment over five years. The construction of 150,000 new energy efficient social houses would create a further 430,000 job-years over five years, and reducing emissions from manufacturing and mining a further 230,000 job-years of employment.

International research has come to similar conclusions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a global Sustainable Recovery package which recommends that governments focus their stimulus funding on reducing emissions from the energy sector, as this would:

  • Increase economic growth by 1.1 per cent each year
  • Create or save 9 million jobs a year. Energy efficiency is by far the largest source of employment, accounting for 35 per cent of these jobs.

Countries are responding to this advice. The European Union is finalising a ‘European Green Deal’ that would invest €1 trillion over a decade to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. The European Union will provide around 50 per cent of the funding, the private sector around 30 per cent and the remaining funds would come from member states and other sources. Draft plans have included €91 billion for a ‘Renovation Wave’ – a rolling program of building upgrades at an unprecedented scale. The exact allocation of funding to the Renovation Wave is now sitting with member states. Anyone interested in the state of play in Europe should definitely catch up with the latest episode of our podcast, First Fuel, in which Luke interviews Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director of Renovate Europe. Renovate Europe advocates reducing the energy demand of buildings in Europe by 80 per cent by 2050 and has been a major driver of the discussion around building upgrades in the EU.

The UK Government has announced a £3 billion green jobs plan. The plan includes a £2 billion green homes grant to accelerate home retrofits. The Government will provide households with vouchers that will cover at least two-thirds of the cost of selected energy efficient home retrofit measures, including more efficient heating systems, roof and floor insulation, double glazing and efficient doors. The vouchers will be capped at up to £5,000 per household, or £10,000 per low-income household. It also includes £1 billion for energy perfomance upgrades of schools, hospitals and other public buildings, a key measure that can be implemented by governments very quickly and which we believe should be one of the first cabs off the rank when it comes to energy efficiency stimulus.

Governments in Australia are currently considering further rounds of economic stimulus. On 1 July 2020 the National Summit on energy efficiency and Australia’s economic recovery demonstrated that Ministers in NSW and Victoria are aware of international developments and are thinking deeply about whether energy efficiency should be part of stimulus packages. While outcomes are still uncertain, the momentum for more action on energy efficiency is growing by the day.

Energy efficiency schemes

The NSW Government is still working on its design of the updated Energy Security Safeguard (ESS), which will replace the Energy Saving Scheme. The ESS will have two parts – an ‘energy efficiency scheme’ that is effectively a continuation of the Energy Saving Scheme, and a separate scheme that will be introduced later to provide additional incentives for reducing peak demand.

The South Australian Government is taking a very different approach to updating its Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES). Rather than continuing an energy efficiency scheme and setting up a separate scheme that encourages energy savings at peak times, the new ‘Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme’ will completely replace the REES with a scheme that rewards energy savings based on when they occur. The REPS model is nice in theory, but the transition from REES to REPS will need to be handled extremely carefully to avoid energy efficiency activities halting in South Australia.

In particular, the South Australian Government is currently considering both limiting the carryover from REES to REPS to 20 per cent of the 2020 target and recalculating measures undertaken in 2020 under the new scheme rules. If these rules are introduced then there is a real risk that energy efficiency activity could decline in the second half of 2020, undermining the very sensible measures that the South Australian Government announced on 3 July in response to COVID-19, such as raising the limit on commercial lighting from 900GJ to 1,800GJ per site.

However, the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Program has undoubtedly presented the biggest challenges to energy efficiency industry. On 1 April 2020 the Victorian Government imposed a temporary suspension on the incentives for a range of household energy efficiency activities, specifically measures 15 (draught-sealing), 17 (low flow shower heads), 21 (lighting upgrades) and 30 (in-home display units). On 24 June, the Victorian Government announced that it would reinstate incentives for these activities, but following a COVID-19 outbreak, on 13 July the Government announced that it would reintroduce the temporary suspension. This will cause significant disruption to the energy efficiency industry, and the EEC will shortly meet with members to discuss how we can minimise this impact.

Energy markets

On 9 July the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) announced that it will only delay the introduction of ‘five-minute settlement’ by three months. The AEMC had been considering a 12-month delay to five-minute settlement due to COVID-19, but in the end decided that there wasn’t a good reason for further delays. As a result, the five-minute settlement will come into force on 1 October 2021, along with the wholesale demand-response mechanism.

If you’re wondering “What the hell is five-minute settlement?", it’s a fairly arcane rule that most people don’t need to know about and I will spare you the gory details. Unless you’re really engaged in energy markets, the only thing that you need to know is that the previous system (30-minute settlement) disadvantaged fast-acting sources of capacity, such as demand-response and batteries. Moving to five-minute settlement will reward these sources properly for being able to switch on and off very quickly.

National Summit: Event summary and session recordings

On Wednesday 1 July 2020 ACOSSAi Group, the Energy Efficiency Council and the Property Council of Australia held a National Summit on energy efficiency and Australia's economic recovery. The National Summit was supported by a coalition of industry and community groups, and attended by over 500 live participants.

Energy efficiency and Australia’s economic recovery brought together leaders from politics, business, the community sector and beyond. Together, they highlighted how we must put energy efficiency at the heart of Australia’s economic recovery. 

Energy efficiency and Australia's economic recovery: National Summit highlights in 8 minutes!

We know you're looking forward to watching the full three hours of National Summit recordings, but in the meantime you can check out this 8 minute highlight reel with all the best bits from the day!


Seven key National Summit insights from Rob Murray-Leach

However, you may also find it useful to reflect on some of our key take outs:

1.      There is an extraordinary consensus that governments should invest in energy efficiency to stimulate the economy

“If you’re looking for consensus – broad-based support for something - I’ve not seen anything like what we’re seeing in terms of support for investment in energy efficiency”

Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service

 2.      This consensus exists because energy efficiency delivers both immediate stimulus and multiple long-term benefits

“The reason why we have put this energy efficiency package forward is that one, it’s a jobs machine, and second it’s one of the cheapest tools to help us cut emissions and meet our Paris targets”

Ken Morrison, CEO, Property Council of Australia

“Ai Group are backing and barracking for energy efficiency upgrades, because they are a way to score five goals off one kick. You can grow jobs, you can cut costs, you can improve health, you can strengthen energy systems and you can slash emissions at the same time”

Tennant Reed, Head of Energy, Climate and Environment Policy, Australian Industry Group

“People are starting to understand more that energy efficiency is the cheapest way to get emissions down, but it also has the double benefit of creating jobs and making energy more affordable”

Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change

 3.      Energy efficiency creates exactly the jobs we need right now

“I called energy efficiency the swiss army knife of the stimulus spend because it does three things really well. In short term stimulus, you get money into the hands of plumbers and sparkies and brickies and plasterers… all the people involved in delivering energy efficiency… if they get money in their pocket it will have a very rapid multiplier effect in the economy. They ‘ll get it and they’ll spend and spend it in their communities.”

Micheal Liebreich, CEO Liebreich Associates

“You’ve heard a lot about how jobs rich this is… let’s back in investment that can be tailored to local conditions, great energy efficiency, jobs rich and jobs that are suitable for local communities, in contrast to ‘big infrastructure’”

Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service

4.      Energy efficiency is essential to cut bills, especially for vulnerable Australians

“Over the 11 years that it’s been running, the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program has saved partcipiants about $3 billion, and it’s available to all residents, small medium sized businesses and supports 2,200 job, and reduced peak demand by 900 GW. It’s a winner.”

Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change

“Pre- COVID there were 3 million people living below the poverty line. We know that unemployment is the greatest risk in terms of people becoming deeply financially distressed… we should be doing everything we can to lower people’s out of pocket bills…”

Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service

“Forty-six per cent of Australians are currently working from home. In Victoria, residential energy consumption has gone up by about twenty-seven per cent compared to last year, and we haven’t even really got to winter yet”

Alison Rowe, CEO, Australian Energy Foundation

5.      Energy efficiency boosts competitiveness and economic productivity

“We’re a small open market economy, and our fortunes will be determined by global megatrends. There’s no bigger megatrend than the move towards zero net emissions.”

Hon Matt Kean MP, New South Wales Minister for Energy and Environment

“[Energy efficiency] also has a long term multiplier, because you are improving the asset base of the economy… because you are improving the energy efficiency of your housing stock, your commercial buildings and your industry, and you reduce the input costs of your economy. It’s like you finally have your handbreak fixed, and you don’t have to drive around with it on…. That has a long-term multiplier effect.”

Micheal Liebreich, CEO Liebreich Associates

6.      We have to improve energy productivity to meet our climate goals

“Efficiency is the single best thing we can be aspiring to… the gigawatt that you don’t need to generate is the best kind of low-emissions generation.”

Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist

“To meet our Paris targets we need to do both deep energy efficiency and renewables. If we don’t reduce our energy use while we are [building renewables], it will take us longer and cost us a lot more.”

Hon. Matt Kean MP, New South Wales Minister for Energy and Environment

“Even to get to 2 degrees we’re talking about a 25 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, and if you do that at the same time as creating jobs and continuing these great trends in the developing world… reducing poverty… we need the economic growth… You’re talking about having to reduce emissions per unit of economic value add by somewhere around 4 or 5 per cent per year… I love wind, I love solar… I love batteries… I even love nuclear if anyone can do it at an effective cost point and manage all the other issues… but the supply-side alone won’t get you to the trajectories that we need to be on… It’s not VIRTUALLY impossible to [tackle climate change] with the supply side alone… you’ve got an extra word in there you don’t need. It is impossible to get to the trajectory we need with supply-side only.”

Micheal Liebreich, CEO Liebreich Associates

7.      You need energy efficiency and smart energy management to unlock the full potential of renewable generation

“Energy efficiency is two different things – it’s the technologies that reduce the amount of energy that you need, but it’s also the enabling technologies that enable allow you to use those highly visible generation technologies more effectively… There’s no question that the ultimate limitation to bringing in more solar and wind is being able to do that and keep the system stable – and match loads to the supply. There’s just a huge opportunity for enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence at the operating system level, digitalisation of virtually everything in the network, two-way communication”

Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist


On Friday 3 July ACOSS, Ai Group, the Energy Efficiency Council and the Property Council released a joint statement on creating an efficient recovery for Australia.

Read it here.


The National Summit followed an unprecedented wave of energy efficiency as stimulus proposals from Australian industry, consumer and environmental groups in recent weeks.

For more information, click here.

Efficiency Leaders with Liz Fletcher

The energy management sector is made up of many passionate professionals – and it’s about time we heard from them! In a new monthly feature, the Energy Efficiency Council will profile a current or emerging industry leader.

This month we’re profiling Liz Fletcher, Associate Director at Engevity, Co-founder the etc., and new member of the Energy Efficiency Council Board. 

What is your role?

I wear a few hats. I’m an Associate Director at Engevity and co-founder of the etc. I also have the pleasure of being the Marketing and Comms expert on the EEC board.

I work with all sorts of energy businesses to help them have a bigger impact. My remit is quite broad - stretching from strategic marketing and branding all the way through to running RegWrap, a new way to help emerging energy businesses get across the opportunities and risks of the regulatory environment.

There are so many great ideas floating around, I want to make them successful so that we can fast track the transition to net zero.

What did you do prior to your current role?

Up until the end of last year, I headed up Marketing and Advocacy at Flow Power. It was an amazing three-year journey in which we shook up the sector while cutting energy costs for plenty of businesses. It’s fantastic to see the team continuing to kick goals.

What is your organisation’s role in the energy management market and Australia’s energy transition?

Engevity is a network on consultants who are bound by a common goal. We want to do work that brings forward the net zero world. We help clients navigate the complexity of the energy system, from the technical and commercial all the way through to more strategic marketing services.

The rest of my time is spent on the etc which is a community of energy communicators. We want to support good marketing and communications in our sector and create a space for it to thrive. If this sounds like you, join on our website!

What do you enjoy about working for your organisation?

I have a soft spot for smart people who care (probably why I love being on the EEC Board). Engevity is a network of experts who truly want to make a difference. It’s my first leap into consulting after years on the client side and I feel like I’ve made a soft landing despite the complex world we find ourselves in.

How do you stay connected with your team when you aren’t in the office?

Engevity was working remotely before everyone else was forced to join the bandwagon. We have a Monday meeting and virtual drinks. The team are lovely and we have a lot of fun; Evan even wrote us a rap for the upcoming official launch of RegWrap.

How do you champion energy efficiency in your own home?

My flat is tiny and quite high up. I do believe in gleaning the benefits of my downstairs neighbours’ heating. However, I just replaced the aircon unit thanks to some great twitter advice! It’s going to be DER enabled which I’m very excited about.

Do you now work from home, and if so, what is something you enjoy about working from home?

Get ready for the best energy nerd response… Being able to plan my dishwasher and washing machine around my Amber app.

When not immersed in Australia’s energy transition, what do you do for fun?

Are you saying the energy transition isn’t fun? I’ve almost finished my Exec MBA so when I emerge from that I will probably get back into reading for fun and eating good food. We are also about to adopt a dog. 

What are you currently excited about in the energy world?

We have the pleasure of working in a sector that makes the world go round. I am a “grow the pie” kind of person and believe customers are really the secret to making that happen.

You see, a value proposition has two sides. It’s more than an exchange of dollars for service. Customers offer insights, advocacy and so much more that we can tap into. We are just starting to understand the value stack beyond price and I’m so excited to see businesses like UPowr, Enova and Overwatch figuring it out.

Why do you value being a member of the Energy Efficiency Council?

The EEC team were my lifeline when I first started at Flow Power. Rob and Luke were the first stakeholders that I took Matthew to meet with. The EEC provided so much more than they knew – from sense checking through to insights and opportunities.

Now I’m on the Board I’m loving hearing more from the members about what they get from the team and the cohort.

There’s plenty more to come from the EEC so keep an eye out.

Where do you see Australia’s energy and energy management markets in 2030?

Three words: two sided market.

Welcome to new Energy Efficiency Council members

Membership is the backbone of the Energy Efficiency Council; without our members’ support we wouldn’t be able to pursue our vision of growing the market for energy management in Australia.

As we enter the critical decade, which will be an absolutely pivotal period for our industry, where we must work harder to ensure that new policy settings support the creation of a large, sophisticated market for energy management, we must not forget the value of coming together to leverage our strength together, rather than as many individual voices.

We appreciate all of our members’ commitment to this vision, and want to take the time to welcome new members to our network: Alexander Watson Home Insulation, AICA Energy, Australian Energy Foundation, Ai Group, Carbon Market Institute, Clean Energy Council, ClimateWorks Australia, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Enhar, Facilities Management Association of Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, National Solar Company, PowerPal, Property Council of Australia, Renew, Stiebel Eltron, Sustainable Savings, Websters Group, and Eco Electrical Systems. 

A very warm welcome to our newest members.                                 

Alexander Watson Home Insulation

Alexander Watson is Canberra’s leading specialist in Blow-In Insulation, Batts and Canberra’s ONLY supplier of spray foam insulation engineered to suit Canberra’s Hot-in-Summer, Cold-in-Winter climate extremes.

Our solutions provide optimal thermal and noise reduction properties make them the ideal solution to make your home more comfortable, peaceful, energy efficient and above all, healthy for your family.

All Alexander Watson insulation installers are approved and certified, providing your family with a trusted, fast and easy solution to your home insulation requirements. Quality workmanship and polite friendly service are paramount to us in making your home ‘Canberra Proof’.

AICA Energy

AICA Energy is focused on providing customized products and services for efficient and effective solutions:

  • Our management strategy is to achieve a workforce that reflects diversity in all forms, including gender, skills, experience and ethnicity.
  • In all our efforts, we continue to embrace openness, trust, teamwork, diversity and relationships that are mutually beneficial, reflect our core values and are the focus of our people strategy.

Australian Energy Foundation (AEF)

The Australian Energy Foundation is leading the way to an equitable zero carbon society. We accelerate the energy transition by empowering communities to take action.

Through AEF's energy expertise, tenacity, and partnerships, they:

  1. Demonstrate the pathways to a zero carbon society.
  2. Influence and inspire to build understanding, investment and action.
  3. Deliver solutions that have a positive impact.

AEF's vision is that all Australians have access to the affordable and clean energy they need to be healthy, have meaningful work, maintain financial stability, connect with their community, prosper though continuous learning, and live in a thriving natural environment. It is a society where everyone uses energy from 100% renewable sources.

Ai Group

Ai Group is a peak national industry association representing and connecting  thousands of employers across Australia.

Ai Group represent the interests of more than 60,000 businesses employing more than 1 million staff and promote industry development, jobs growth and stronger Australian communities. 

Members are private sector employers large and small, with common interests in more competitive businesses and a stronger economic environment.

Ai Group members have access to specialist workplace advice and services and to policy leaders and business networks. 

Members value Ai Group’s expertise and ability to contribute to and influence government policy in areas such as industry policy, workplace relations, education and training, energy, trade, taxation and regulation.

Carbon Market Institute (CMI)

CMI is the independent peak industry body at the centre of business and climate action:

  • Speaking for business leading the transition to a net-zero emission economy, sharing knowledge, building capacity and catalysing opportunities;
  • Stewards of Australia’s carbon markets and related effective policies, supporting their continued evolution while working to ensure the integrity of the market, participants and outcomes; and
  • Championing the UNFCCC Paris Agreement and TCFD’s framework of climate and net-zero emission goals and mechanisms for increasing ambition, international cooperation and investment.

CMI's 2050 vision is a prosperous, climate-resilient, net-zero emissions world.   

Clean Energy Council (CEC)

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia. We are a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation. We represent and work with leading businesses operating in or supporting the development of renewable energy and energy storage. We are committed to accelerating the transformation of Australia’s energy system to one that is smarter and cleaner.

ClimateWorks Australia

We bridge the gap between research and climate action and catalyse action towards net zero within Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Our collaborative approach helps key players in our region create practical, tailored climate solutions across the whole economy. We've set our sights on making net zero a reality across the entire economy. This is critical to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Our four pillars approach is how we can get there;

  1. Energy efficiency and conservation
  2. Decarbonise electricity
  3. Electrify and switch to cleaner fuels
  4. Reduce non-energy emissions and offset

Our end-to-end approach underpins how we collaborate and design programs. We develop agenda-setting research and apply it to specific contexts to meet stakeholder needs. We then implement our findings and empower people to create change.

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Energy in our department:

  • develops and coordinates energy and energy efficiency policy across government
  • administers energy and energy efficiency policies, programs and regulations
  • engages with stakeholder groups and the community on energy and energy efficiency issues
  • participates in international forums to support effective action on energy and energy efficiency
  • supports businesses and households to take action to reduce energy use and costs

Enhar Pty Ltd

Enhar is a trusted energy and solar PV consultancy, with service offerings encompassing commercial solar PV feasibility, design and management; as well as utility energy projects; energy efficiency and grant funding. Established in 2006, Enhar have been a trusted independent consultant to local councils, Universities, government authorities, large energy users, solar PV providers and renewable energy developers. Enhar helps sustainability professionals achieve their 100% renewable energy goals. We do this by raising the standard of the solar and smart energy sector through providing excellent engineering and project management services.

Facility Management Association (FMA)

The Facility Management Association is the peak national industry body for facilities management, representing and supporting professionals and organisations responsible for the operational management of Australia’s built environments. 

Established in 1988, today FMA has branches in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania Victoria and Western Australia.

A primary focus of the Association is to ensure the needs of professionals and organisations working in and dealing with facilities management are understood and considered in government and business policy formulation and decision making.

FMA provides a range of services to members, including advocacy and industry standards development, research, networking and information based events and seminars, education and professional development opportunities and support for special interest groups. 

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is committed to developing buildings, cities and communities that are healthy, livable, productive, resilient and sustainable.

Established in 2002, the Green Building Council of Australia is the nation’s authority on sustainable buildings, communities and cities. Our vision is to create healthy, resilient and positive places for people. Our purpose is to lead the sustainable transformation of Australia’s built environment. 

  • We rate the sustainability of buildings and communities through Australia’s only national, voluntary, holistic rating system – Green Star.
  • We educate industry and government practitioners and decision-makers, and promote green building programs, technologies, design practices and operations.
  • We advocate policies and programs that support our vision and purpose.

National Solar Company

National Solar Company is established to create a more sustainable future and minimise the carbon footprint of households and businesses. National Solar Company is 100% Australian owned and operated. Our leadership team has been involved in energy cost reduction activities for over 18 years and we are continually driven to supply the best quality products and services. We have a strong client focus, understanding the priorities and drivers of clients in all sectors. People choose to work with us as we are holistic and collaborative in our approach, and we engineer the best design and construct solutions for our clients.


Powerpal Pty Ltd is a platform developer in the energy space. We leverage the latest developments in IoT and machine learning to deliver a digital platform that drives improved energy efficiency outcomes for residential households.

Powerpal’s patented energy data acquisition technology finally unlocks the long anticipated benefits of digital electricity meters. By combining data from existing meter assists with real-time mobile engagement we deliver deliver targeted, actionable and cost-benefit qualified energy efficiency interventions that empower consumers to improve their lifestyle, cut their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

Property Council of Australia (PCA)

The Property Council of Australia is the leading advocate for Australia’s biggest industry and biggest employer – property.  Our industry represents 13% of Australia's GDP, employs 1.4 million Australians (more than mining and manufacturing combined) and secures the future of 14.8 million Australians who have a financial stake in property through their super funds.

The Property Council champions the interests of more than 2200 member companies that represent the full spectrum of the industry, including those who invest, own, manage and develop in all sectors of property, creating landmark projects and environments where people live, work, shop and play.

Led by a powerful board and strong executive leadership team, the Property Council’s vision is a thriving industry creating prosperity, jobs and strong communities.


Renew (Alternative Technology Association Inc trading as Renew Australia) is a national, not-for-profit organisation that inspires, enables and advocates for people to live sustainably in their homes and communities. Established in 1980, Renew provides expert, independent advice on sustainable solutions for the home to households, government and industry.

We have helped thousands of households save money and reduce their environmental footprint with information on energy efficiency, solar power, rainwater tanks, materials reuse and waste.

Renew advocates in government and industry arenas for easy access to sustainable solutions as well as continual improvement of the technology, information and products needed to change the way we live. Renew also provides consultancy services based on our technical expertise in energy, water and communications.

Stiebel Eltron

Stiebel Eltron is a family-owned company driven by innovation and maintains a clear focus on environmentally responsible, efficient and convenient building services. With a rich heritage of more than 95 years in manufacturing innovative home appliances, Stiebel Eltron has become synonymous with high-quality, well-engineered and energy-efficient products, including heat pumps, electric instantaneous water heaters and heat recovery ventilation.

As early as 1976 Stiebel Eltron began developing heat pump technology for energy-efficient hot water, heating and cooling. This heat pump technology has been tried and tested in Germany for over forty years to ensure consumers receive real energy, environmental and money savings.

Stiebel Eltron Australia has been providing energy-efficient solutions to the commercial and residential markets Australia wide since 1996.

Sustainable Savings

Sustainable Savings provide turnkey Holistic Energy Solutions that aim to maximise your savings at optimal cost. 100% engineered turnkey approach embraces every step, from initial investigation and auditing through to engineer-led design, full deployment, post-deployment validation and sustainability reporting. Our engineers will create the right solution mix designed to maximise your energy savings and optimise your investment.

Websters Group

We bring finance and sustainable design together to help business owners understand the practical benefits of energy efficiency. Attention to detail regarding project savings from an engineering and finance perspective is key to unlocking the business case for energy efficiency.

Having spent 10 years writing energy and water audits that seldom got implemented, founder Ryan Dillon knew there had to be a better way. Founded in 2012, Websters Group aims to bring finance and sustainability together through new and innovative funding mechanisms for sustainability projects. While we are consultants able to produce high quality investment grade assessments, we also want to partner with clients and co-invest in projects to assist in bringing our expertise to real installations that save clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Eco Electrical Systems are proud to offer the highest quality electrical services to their residential and commercial customers all across Perth. Being LED lighting experts, we love seeing our happy customers realise the financial and environmental benefits following installation of these amazing products. Also specialising in office & warehouse fitouts, renovations, appliance installations, re-wiring, safety checks, energy saving reports and new build lighting plans, Eco Electrical is Perth’s one-stop-shop for all your lighting and electrical needs. Friendly and efficient, we will arrive on time, treat you and your home or business with respect and keep you informed every step of the way.

Online professional development: CEM, CPD and more

Certified Energy Manager (CEM)

The Energy Efficiency Council is delighted to announce that we are now the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) training partner for the delivery of the Certified Energy Manager (CEM) accreditation in Australia, taking over the reins from Energetics. Importantly, Roger Horwood will continue to deliver the CEM training, and we welcome Roger to the Council's trainer fold. With the AEE and EVO’s Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) accreditation already managed by the Council in Australia, the CEM certification is a natural fit and we look forward to delivering the first CEM course in October.

Certified Energy Manager (CEM) accreditation

Dates: Monday 12 - Thursday 16 October 2020
Times: 10am - 4pm AEST (each day) + 4-hour exam
Contact hours: 25 + exam
Exam: Individually scheduled and proctored within two weeks of the course
Registration closes: Friday 18 September 2020

Training + exam fees:
Standard: $4,390 inc. GST
EEC member: $3,685 inc. GST
Trainer: Roger Horwood
Videoconference: Zoom
Participants: 20 (max)

Continuing professional development

With accreditation comes the need for CPD, and we are working to build a suite of professional development opportunities to enable CEMs and CMVPs to manage their CPD requirements. Energy efficiency and Australia’s economic recovery on 1 July is a complimentary forum - eligible for CPD - featuring Michael Liebreich, and bringing together leaders from politics, business, the community sector and beyond to discuss how we can act to put energy efficiency at the heart of Australia’s economic recovery.

Continuing professional development for AEE certification

The Council's CEM and CMVP certifications require an ongoing commitment to professional development, and both are subject to a renewal process every three years that requires evidence of 10 AEE credits of CPD.

The Council offers a range of CPD opportunities, from our masterclasses through to the upcoming  National Summit, Energy efficiency and Australia's economic recovery on Wednesday 1 July.

CEMs and CMVPs are encouraged to consider their progress towards 10 AEE credit points as we approach the next three-year renewal process.

Online Energy Efficiency Council training

Capturing the Value of Demand Response

Dates: Wednesday 4 – Thursday 5 August 2020
Times: 9am - 12.30pm AEST (both days)

Standard fee: $490 +GST
EEC member fee: $360 +GST

Trainer: Bruce Rowse
Videoconference: Zoom
Participants: 15 class members (max)
CPD: 8 contact hours; the certificate of completion will be emailed to you after the course.

Click here for more information and to register 

Energy auditing to the Australian Standard

Dates: Tuesday 11 - Wednesday 12 August 2020
Times: 9am - 12.30pm AEST (both days)

Standard fee: $890 +GST
EEC member fee: $660 +GST

Trainer: Bruce Rowse
Videoconference: Zoom
Participants: 15 class members (max)
CPD: 1.4 credits; the certificate of completion will be emailed to you after the course

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Expert view: Renovation Rescue

Peter M Graham, Associate Professor - Architectural Performance, Monash University

John Thwaites, Chair, Monash Sustainable Development Institute & ClimateWorks Australia

Michael LiSenior Project Manager, ClimateWorks Australia, Monash University

Renovating Australia’s eight million existing homes is essential to improve health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but just as critically would create thousands of jobs and help our economy recover.

Australian houses built before 2004 weren’t required to meet national energy efficiency standards. Many older homes average just 1.8 stars in energy efficiency – this doesn’t just mean that they need much more energy to heat and cool, it also means that they can struggle to provide safe conditions during hot and cold weather. A study by Morshed et al found that bringing older homes up to at least 5.4 stars would reduce deaths from heatwaves by 90 per cent.

Upgrading existing homes to make them safe would also deliver major reductions in energy bills and emissions. Research released in March showed the energy performance of housing must improve by an average 44 to 48 per cent in the next decade for Australia to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This means building new homes above today’s energy standards and upgrading existing homes.

Renovating existing buildings would also provide critical economic stimulus, with research suggesting that each US$1 million spent on upgrading buildings delivers 14 job-years of employment. A new report from the Global Building Performance Network shows how large-scale building renovation programs can boost energy efficiency, create jobs and deliver long-term cost savings.

Renovation Europe

The European Union (EU) has been working to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings for many years now. The EU’s 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive requires member states to set renovation targets for existing buildings, and many countries have required the disclosure of a building’s energy performance when it is sold or leased.

However, implementation of these renovation directives has been patchy. This has motivated the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroACE) to launch the ‘Renovate Europe Campaign’ calling for policy action to support ambitious renovation of existing buildings. The campaign’s goal is to reduce the energy demand of the EU’s building stock by 80 per cent by 2050. Whether the campaign achieves its full goals or not, it is highly likely that the EU will introduce further measures for energy efficient building renovation as part of its COVID-19 economic stimulus packages.

Renovation in Australia

The Australian federal government’s new HomeBuilder scheme offers eligible Australians money to renovate or build a home. While it has attracted controversy, HomeBuilder does offer a much-needed opportunity to make old homes more energy-efficient.

The HomeBuilder initiative will provide a grant of A$25,000 to eligible property owners, with an income of no more than A$125,000 per year (or A$200,000 for a couple). And they’re required to spend at least A$150,000 on renovations. It’s touted as a way to protect construction jobs and help stimulate the post-coronavirus economy, but should be expanded to reach a greater proportion of home-owners and renters.

Energy-efficient home improvements could include:

  • draught-proofing doors and windows
  • switching to LED lighting
  • upgrading to solar hot water heaters
  • insulating ceilings, floors and walls
  • replacing windows with double glazing
  • creating temperature zones so you don’t have to heat or cool the whole house
  • adding shading to windows and orienting living areas to the north, to take advantage of winter sun.

Drawing from international examples, here are six policies Australian governments should adopt to deliver both economic impact and emissions savings over the long term.

1. Set renovation targets

Australian governments should commit to annual renovation targets to meet energy efficiency goals at a local, state and national level.

Australia can learn from the European Union’s energy efficient directive, introduced in 2012.

The directive includes increasing the rate of public building renovations to 3% a year to improve energy efficiency. It’s coupled with a long-term strategy to mobilise investment to renovate existing residential and commercial buildings. This has helped the EU stay on track to reach its 20% energy efficiency target this year.

Analysts estimate EU initiatives to renovate buildings provided the opportunity to lift the EU’s gross domestic product by up to 2.3% between 2012-2020.

2. Upgrade local precincts

Australia can deliver “net zero makeovers” to multiple buildings in particular precincts, cutting emissions at scale. It could follow the lead of the Netherlands’s Energiesprong (or “Energy Leap” in English) program.

Energiesprong homes are designed to pay for themselves over 30 years. Innovative construction techniques, such as prefabricated facades, mean the work takes as little as a week and residents don’t have to move out during the process.

The program is now being implemented in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, California and New York State.

3. Make home energy ratings and labelling clear

In Australia, home energy ratings are not mandatory. Without them, many Australians probably know more about the energy efficiency ratings of their refrigerators than their homes.

The recently released King Review recommended Australia develop an energy performance rating scheme for new and existing residential buildings.

This is what’s happening in places such as the EU, China and some US states. Buildings certified under the US “Energy Star” label use 50% less energy than typical buildings.

4. Enforce energy efficiency standards for renovation

One easy win available to governments is to ensure compliance with existing energy efficiency requirements.

By applying the energy efficiency provisions of the national building code to renovations, the Beijing municipal government substantially reduced emissions from existing buildings.

Australia’s National Construction Code, which sets out building regulations for new buildings, also requires major renovations to comply with its energy efficiency rules. But it’s poorly enforced.

Governments must urgently clarify and enforce the code’s energy efficiency requirements for renovations.

5. Introduce standards for rental properties

In the rental market, landlords and tenants have “split incentives” - tenants pay the energy bills, but landlords make investment decisions. This means investments to improve energy efficiency in rental housing aren’t often made.

It also means many private renters are paying high energy bills and face health risks from heat and cold.

In some countries, such as France, rental properties must meet reasonable energy efficiency standards, which overcomes this problem. State governments in Australia should implement provisions like this.

6. Offer financial incentives

Local, state or national governments can provide direct financial incentives or tax incentives to create low-energy homes.

In Australia, states already offer financial incentives for energy efficiency, but tax incentives would require federal support.

In Germany, a grant scheme for energy efficient renovations and new housing created 253,000 jobs according to one measure. It also created a net benefit to public finances of about €10 billion in 2011.

Looking ahead

The COVID-19 impact on Australia’s construction industry is likely to last years.

But by adopting these six policies, Australian governments can deliver healthier, lower-energy housing, and bring us closer to meeting our climate targets.

This article originally appeared in modified form in The Conversation.


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