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Government commits $67m to energy efficiency

Last week the Federal Government committed $67 million to energy efficiency measures for homes, commercial buildings, equipment and appliances, businesses and community organisations.

These measures will help businesses and households reduce their energy costs, while also reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. The plan includes:

  • $50 million for the Energy Efficient Communities Program;
  • $7.1 million to improve the energy and emissions performance of commercial buildings;
  • $3.4 million to accelerate energy performance of residential buildings; and
  • $6.5 million to introduce equipment energy efficiency labelling requirements for space heating.

Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council, welcomed the Government's commitment, while highlighting the need for more action. "The Energy Efficiency Council is delighted that we now have bipartisan recognition of the importance of energy efficiency. However, if we really want to cut energy bills, we need both sides of politics to commit to a multi-billion dollar package on energy efficiency."

The Energy Efficient Communities Program will help eligible businesses and community organisations save energy by installing new equipment or improving their energy management. Funding will be available to upgrade equipment, invest in energy monitoring systems, and conduct energy system assessments or feasibility studies.

The Government's investment will also provide the initial funds for the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings – a national plan to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions from Australia’s residential and commercial buildings sector.

The investment for commercial buildings will include expanding the National Australian Built Environment Energy Ratings System (NABERS) and possibly the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program. NABERS will expand its voluntary rating tools to include more building types, such as schools, retail stores and industrial buildings. 

Funding for residential buildings will provide best-practice information, training and tools to help homes transition to a zero-energy future. This will include updates to the ‘Your Home’ online resources, and expanding the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme tools.

An energy rating label for space heating appliances will allow consumers to compare between different heating technologies and make more informed choices. Space heating accounts for 26% of residential energy use. Read more