BRIEF – 3 July 2009 – The Council of Australian Governments yesterday released a communique, “Dealing with Climate Change Through Energy Efficiency”. Reproduced here is the section dealing with energy efficiency for the built environment.

For the first time, Australian Governments have agreed a comprehensive 10-year strategy to accelerate energy efficiency improvements for householders and businesses across all sectors of the economy.  Accelerating energy efficiency is a key plank in the strategy to combat climate change, reduce the cost of emissions abatement and improve the productivity of the economy.  The strategy will complement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by addressing the barriers that are preventing the efficient uptake of energy efficient opportunities, such as split incentives and information failures.

COAG today signed the National Partnership Agreement on Energy Efficiency, which will deliver a nationally-consistent and cooperative approach to energy efficiency, encompassing:

• assistance to households to reduce energy use by providing information and advice, financial assistance and demonstration programs;

• assistance to business and industry to obtain the knowledge, skills and capacity to pursue cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities and therefore meet the challenges of a low carbon economy;

• higher energy efficiency standards to deliver substantial growth in the number of highly energy efficient homes and buildings, and provide a clear road map to assist Australia’s residential and commercial building sector to adapt;

• nationally-consistent energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment and a process to enable industry to adjust to increasingly stringent standards over time;

• introducing in 2010 new standards for the energy performance of air conditioners and increasing the standard by a further 10 per cent from 1 October 2011;

• addressing potential regulatory impediments to the take up of innovative demand side initiatives and smart grid technologies;

• governments working in partnership to improve the energy efficiency of their own buildings and operations; and

• a detailed assessment of possible vehicle efficiency measures, such as CO2

All regulatory measures will be subject to normal regulatory impact assessment.

In addition to an $88 million commitment for joint measures, the strategy builds on the substantial investments and commitments being made by all jurisdictions to driving energy efficiency in their own jurisdictions.

• a detailed assessment of possible vehicle efficiency measures, such as CO2 All regulatory measures will be subject to normal regulatory impact assessment.