26 May 2011 – Households nation-wide will save on energy costs if the recommendations in a new national policy statement are adopted.

The statement from the Australian Council of Social Services, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Clean Energy Council, the Energy Efficiency Council, the Property Council, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and The Climate Institute outlines national projects that would increase residential energy efficiency and bring a range of benefits including minimising energy bills for Australian households.

The groups propose:

  • Targeted support for high-needs households funded through carbon pollution price revenue.
  • A specific program to assist low-income and financially stressed households that are at risk of fuel poverty. The program could target individual households at risk (such as households that are having difficulty paying their energy bills, or with very high electricity use) or high-risk communities (such as high electricity charges, no access to gas, high transport costs at urban fringe).
  • An initial establishment, research and evaluation phase to ensure the most effective delivery. It could then be scaled up to reach between 250,000 to 500,000 homes by 2020.
  • A National Energy Saving Initiative that builds on and harmonises existing state-based initiatives. This would place a requirement on energy retails to pursue and facilitate energy efficiency projects across the economy and include a specific obligation to achieve a proportion of savings in low-income households.

The statement noted that the Prime Minister’s Task Group on Energy Efficiency would both drive energy efficiency and reduce red tape by replacing existing and planned state energy efficiency schemes.

The task group’s initial modelling found that such an initiative had the potential to save households between $50 – $243 per year from 2012 – 2030; and medium scale businesses between $10,608 – $23,712 per year.