(Left to right): Luke Menzel, Tony Arnel and Rob Murray-Leach from the Energy Efficiency Council.

The Victorian government has announced it is expanding the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target, extending the program to five years to provide more certainty for industry and increasing the target for energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions by 20 per cent over the scheme’s life.

The announcement was made by Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio at the inaugural Energy Efficiency and Productivity Summit held today [Tuesday] in Melbourne.

The new VEET targets will incentivise further investment in new energy technology and clean energy jobs, Ms D’Ambrosio said. They will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes.

“Together, energy efficiency and clean energy supports Victoria’s transition to be a sustainable economy, while lowering costs and creating jobs,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“The strengthening of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme reflects our commitment to energy efficiency as way of helping Victorians reduce their energy bills and create more Victorian jobs.”

Energy Efficiency Council chief executive Luke Menzel and EEC policy and advocacy executive Rob Murray-Leach were among the summit’s more than 200 attendees from the building and property, energy efficiency, local government, manufacturing, energy retailers, environment and consumer sectors.

“The Energy Efficiency Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s commitment to raise the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target,” Mr Menzel said.

“Expanding the scheme will create jobs in Victoria and help homes and businesses save energy. The scheme makes it cheaper for homes to cut drafts and install efficient lights, heating systems and appliances.”

Mr Menzel also said he expected the expanded VEET to create more jobs, specifically in the energy efficiency sector.

Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham welcomed the announcement, but said bipartisan support for long-term stability was needed.

“The Andrews Government is sending a strong signal that it wants clean energy jobs and less pollution,” he said.

“These targets will need to be endorsed by the Victorian Parliament. It will be critical that the Liberal Party under new leader Matthew Guy buries its past approach of destroying clean energy jobs.

“The Victorian Liberal Party needs to demonstrate that it is prepared to develop and support responsible environment and industry development policy.”

The Victorian government said resolutions arising from today’s summit would help inform the development of its Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy.

Due for release at the end of this year, the strategy will establish a work program aimed at improving energy affordability, creating jobs and delivering a sustainable economy.

Also known as the Energy Saver Incentive, under the VEET eligible energy efficiency activities generate certificates based on how much gas or electricity they save.

Eligible activities for the business sector include commercial lighting upgrades, refrigeration efficiency upgrades, HVAC upgrades, installation of underfloor insulation, window retrofits, solar hot water installations and installation of stand-by power controllers.

The following targets were announced for the VEET from 2016 to 2020:

  • 2016 – 5.4 million certificates
  • 2017 – 5.9 million certificates
  • 2018 – 6.1 million certificates
  • 2019 – 6.3 million certificates
  • 2020 – 6.5 million certificates

GreenBank Environmental and Green Energy Trading for Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates were offering $21 per tradeable certificate on 25 August 2015.