$1 billion-a-year national energy saving goal

17 April 2010

Leading energy efficiency advocates have called for Australia to immediately adopt a national target to save at least $1 billion every year through energy efficiency, by 2012.

Key industry and NGO organisations including the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC), Australian Alliance to Save Energy (A2SE), and Total Environment Centre (TEC) say this would just be the start of a massive energy-saving opportunity.

“We are calling on all political leaders in all jurisdictions to support this commonsense, evidence-based and attainable target to achieve the huge potential for driving energy efficiency in this country,” said Mark Lister, Executive Director of A2SE.

“Transforming Australia from an energy efficiency laggard into a world leader will boost the economy.  “Energy efficiency can improve Australia’s global competitiveness, protect existing jobs and improve energy security while slashing emissions,” said Rob Murray-Leach, CEO of the EEC.

“This is the life-raft that will rescue Australia from the current climate policy void. Energy efficiency is the cheapest way to slash carbon emissions. It will make our economy more resilient to both energy price rises and carbon costs,” said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of TEC.

Recent reports show that energy efficiency can save $100 for every tonne of CO2 reduced by industry and $90 for every tonne reduced in buildings.[1] Energy efficiency could cut emissions by over 50 million tonnes a year by 2020.

“With the right policies, additional savings can be identified through to 2020 and beyond, allowing the gains to keep rising as we unlock energy efficiency potential across the economy. Half a billion dollars in savings could be delivered by Australia’s 8.3 million households if they each saved about $60 off their electricity bills, which is less than 10% of average home consumption. This will help offset the price rises being driven by massive and inefficient network infrastructure expansion that will continue to cost energy users dearly,” said Mark Lister.

“Even larger savings are possible in industry and commercial buildings, saving the economy several billion each year. Just 200 companies recently found ways to cut their energy use that would also save them $736 million and cut Australia’s greenhouse gasses by 1.1 per cent. Imagine if we did that across the whole economy,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“Energy efficiency is the best opportunity that Australia has to start cutting greenhouse gas pollution quickly and cheaply in the next two decades. We are seeking bipartisan political support for making energy efficiency core to any comprehensive strategy for enhancing Australia’s economic productivity and environmental well-being,” said Jeff Angel

Today's call follows the 4th March roundtable and yesterday’s Communiqué from Australia’s key energy efficiency advocates drawn from the business, research and community sectors.

Further information:
Rob Murray-Leach, CEO of the EEC: 0414 065 556
Jeff Angel, Executive Director of TEC: 02 9261 3437
Mark Lister, Executive Director of A2SE: 0402 320 906

[1] Climate Works Australia, Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia, March 2010. Including industrial energy efficiency, buildings energy efficiency and industrial cogeneration.


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