The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) has welcomed announcements in the Victorian Budget to save energy and grow jobs, but expressed concern about the lack of specific funding to save energy by upgrading schools and hospitals.
The Victorian Budget includes:
- $10 million to upgrade public housing and the homes of vulnerable Victorians. With an estimated 3,000 Australians dying each year during extremes of heat and cold, this measure will save lives and improve households’ quality of life. $3 million to roll out a tool to rate homes’ efficiency, which will help Victorians save energy and money.
- $3 million to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) identify ways to reduce their energy bills.
- An extra $7.56 million to support investment and innovation in ‘new energy technologies’, as part of a broader expansion of the Future Industries Fund.
- $8.3 million of funding for unspecified measures, which will likely be set out in the State Government’s forthcoming energy efficiency strategy.
“The Energy Efficiency Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s measures to help homes and business save energy, lower bills and create jobs,” said Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council.
While the EEC congratulated the Andrews Government for making real inroads to improve the state’s energy efficiency, citing the improved Victorian Energy Saver Incentive, and the budget’s new funding for energy efficiency measures, it expressed concern that the Victorian Budget didn’t appear to fund energy efficiency experts’ number one priority – saving energy by upgrading hospitals, schools and public buildings.
“Experts believe that the number one priority for Victoria must be saving energy by upgrading our hospitals, schools and public buildings. This is critical to grow jobs, develop the energy efficiency sector and improve public facilities, and would also deliver savings of $2 billion and support the retention of Victoria’s AAA credit rating,” said Mr Menzel.
“We look forward to the release of the Victorian Government’s strategy “Saving Energy, Growing Jobs” and urge Dan Andrews and Lily D’Ambrosio to ensure that this strategy improves the efficiency of schools, hospitals and other public buildings.”