Efficiency, Renewables

National energy savings scheme is worth 4.5 Liddell power plants, so what are we waiting for?

A national energy savings scheme could deliver energy savings from both electricity and gas equivalent in electricity terms to 4.5 times the annual output of the Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW, according to analysis by the Energy Savings Industry Association.

Energy saved is energy generated, and a scheme that saves 10% of electricity and gas consumption by 2030 which will deliver 39,415GWh energy savings a year by 2030. The Liddell plant, due to close in 2022, has turned out 8,680GWh a year over the past two years.

“There is no more time to waste: a national energy savings scheme [NESS] needs full support from all parties and candidates leading into the federal election and beyond,” said Energy Savings Industry Association
president Rod Woolley.

“A NESS is the most cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even more attractive than renewables. A NESS also addresses the other energy trilemma issues: reducing energy costs and improving energy security.”

In the Energy Savings Industry Association’s vision a national energy savings scheme will:

  • Accelerate rollout of energy upgrades, with a significant national energy savings target increase from 2021 to 2030 providing a strong signal to the market to deliver sooner.
  • Build on success of proven existing energy savings schemes in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and the ACT, all with uncommitted targets from 2020 except for NSW.
  • Provide certainty to industry for the next decade to innovate and invest in energy efficiency upgrades rather than relying on government grants funded by taxpayers.
  • Provide access for more Australians to participate in upgrades.
  • Spearhead a suite of complementary measures that are essential but take longer to mobilise including minimum energy performance standards for products and buildings at point-of-sale and rental, and regulations to phase-out inefficient products.

“We know that readily identifiable energy upgrades with quick paybacks would save Australians almost $8 billion in reduced energy bills and create more than 120,000 jobs, with more than one-third of these jobs to be created with a NESS,” Woolley said.

A NESS would provide upfront financial incentives to residential and business energy customers to rapidly increase installation of more energy efficiency products and processes including: lighting, air conditioning, hot water, building weather sealing, industrial fan and motor upgrades and better energy monitoring systems to turn off energy-hungry services when they aren’t needed.

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