Finkel drops ball on energy efficiency, 9 June 2017

EECCA Media Release

It is most disappointing that Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel has not seen value in specifically increasing energy savings schemes across Australia in his report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) released today 9 June 2017. In light of the proven success of these schemes in a number of states, it is imperative that the benefits be replicated and expanded and extended nationally, according to the Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association (EECCA).

“The opportunity to take immediate significant action which would provide instant and rapid relief to customers has again been passed up. All Australians are still a long way from accessing lower energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions reductions that would be possible with a National Energy Savings Scheme (NESS), as was recently recommended by the Climate Change Authority (CCA) for the Federal Minister for Environment and Energy,” said EECCA President Mr Hamish McGovern.

“The Finkel Report on the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (NEM) focussed primarily on the supply side of the industry and made little contribution to progressing demand side recommendations including energy efficiency - other than to acknowledge its importance and the need to accelerate roll out of broader energy efficiency measures. The Report, like National Electricity Market (NEM) institutions, failed in its discourse to adequately consider demand as a critical and complementary part of the national energy policy framework.

“While the Report considered the falling cost of renewables and storage as key components in the transition to lower emissions, it failed to consider the dramatically falling costs of LED lighting and other energy efficiency technologies. LEDs alone are delivering up to 80 percent energy cost savings and uptake has been driven by successful energy savings schemes in NSW, Vic, ACT and SA,” said Mr McGovern.

The challenge has now clearly been handballed to COAG and governments across Australia. The EECCA is calling on COAG to:

  • implement a NESS in line with recommendations made by the CCA; and
  • institute an Australian Energy Market Demand Side Operator to provide some balance to the continuing supply-focussed NEM institutions.

“The energy efficiency industry needs more certainty and the Finkel Report has failed to progress this need. While we welcome a Clean Energy Target that will help supply-side shifts, it will fail to provide a mechanism for customers to take up more energy efficient technologies in their homes and businesses. Customers need leadership now to provide relief from soaring energy prices,” concluded Mr McGovern.

… Ends

Media please contact:  Hamish McGovern - EECCA President, m 0416 296 827, Ric Brazzale EECCA Policy Sub-committee, m 0419 522 659 or Jessica Lynch, EECCA Communications, m 0417 539 377, comns@eecca.org.au. Website www.eecca.org.au

Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market – Blueprint for the Future, 9 June 2017

Excerpt:

6.6.1 Improved energy efficiency

Despite these existing programs, a large number of submissions called for more to be done on energy efficiency and there appears to be considerable scope for greater use of energy efficiency to improve reliability, security and affordability. (p155)

Recommendations 6.10

Governments should accelerate the roll out of broader energy efficiency measures to complement the reforms recommended in the Review. (p156)

Links:

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