Bruce Easton

The Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association is calling on the Western Australian and Queensland governments to follow the lead set by Victoria, NSW, South Australia and the ACT in expanding their state-based energy efficiency programs.

The challenge came as the association welcomed the new five year target and 20 per cent increase to Victoria’s VEET scheme, announced this week by energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio.

EECCA said that not only were several thousand existing jobs in its sector secure, the extension meant these businesses could confidently expand and employ more people.

“We will continue to work closely with the government and other key stakeholders to ensure the benefits to consumers, including residential and commercial customers, are maximised,” EECCA president Bruce Easton said.

“We would like to see the scheme enhanced with an expansion of activities, particularly to include more business, project-based activities such as building upgrades and industrial processes.”

He told The Fifth Estate that for the commercial sector, activities such as “plug and play” lighting upgrades currently constituted 90 per cent of VEET activities, and that there was likely another 12 months of those types of projects left.

“Then what do you do for the next five years?” he said.

In NSW, he said, less than 10 per cent of Energy Saving Certificate initiatives were using project-based methodologies, and he questioned whether Victoria could achieve its ambitious new target using its existing project-based methods.

Many of the activities currently listed as VEET-eligible, he said, did not get traction because their value in terms of savings on energy bills and carbon emissions was so low compared to the cost – for example, retrofitting double glazing.

Others, such as sealing the building, were not expensive, but generated a very small number of certificates due to the greenhouse gas abatement they delivered. This also made them less attractive to proponents.

Mr Easton said the beauty of this challenge of needing to meet emissions targets and develop new methodologies was that it would start to drive innovation.

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