10 July 2012 – In the News: ­ Alan Pears, writing in The Conversation this week says opposition to energy efficiency comes from many directions.

“Within government, econocrats actively block implementation of effective energy efficiency measures. In 2005, the Productivity Commission inquiry into energy efficiency was scathing about most energy efficiency schemes, in particular mandatory energy standards. Traditional economists see mandatory energy efficiency measures as reducing choice: they uphold our right to waste money and damage the environment!

He also says:

“Governance arrangements have been a mess, as explained by the PM’s Energy Efficiency Task Group report, published in 2010. Basically, no-one powerful in government has made energy efficiency a real priority. And when government has introduced major programs, such as Green Loans and the insulation scheme, it under-resourced development, rushed them and failed on delivery. This undermines the future of the energy efficiency industry. For example, governments simply don’t want to talk about or actively support insulation any more. Yet it is one of the most important energy efficiency measures in existence!

“Within the energy industry, the market framework set up in the 1990s works strongly against energy efficiency. In its submission to the PM’s Energy Efficiency Task Group, International Power, an owner of power stations, reflected this situation by stating:

IPRA rejects any proposal to introduce climate change policy, under the guise of energy efficiency measures, which has the potential to destroy the value of existing investments in the generator sector.”

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