The ACT Government will provide incentives for households to shift away from the use of gas in their homes through an expanded energy efficiency scheme, as the territory targets the next stage of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as it approaches 100% renewable electricity.
The ACT Government announced in January that it would extend the energy efficiency scheme for a further ten years through to 2030, while also expanding the opportunities for low-income households to participating the scheme, and extending the coverage of the scheme to gas providers, in addition to electricity retailers.
The Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme (EEIS) creates an obligation for electricity retailers in the ACT to deliver rebates and incentives for households and businesses to reduce their electricity consumption by supporting the installation of energy efficient appliances and improvements to the building energy performance.
“The proposed changes reflect the emissions reduction challenge we face in the ACT in the coming decade. With 100% of ACT electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020, our particular challenge is to reduce the emissions from gas and transport. Tackling these emissions is key to reaching our goal of zero net emissions by 2045,” ACT climate change minister Shane Rattenbury said at the time.
“This new EEIS will also be designed around the principle of a ‘just transition’, and will focus on supporting lower income households. Transitioning to a carbon free future is critical, but it is also critical that we support people, particularly those in lower income households, on this journey.”
The ACT has now expanded the scheme, to provide financial incentives for homes and businesses to reduce their gas consumption, with rebates of up to $5,000 will be available for households to replace ducted gas heaters with energy efficient reverse cycle air conditioners.
By shifting gas appliances to electric appliances, the ACT government hopes to achieve further reductions in the territories emissions, given the ACT will be sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources as soon as October.
As part of the expanded scheme, ACT Government has established specific targets for the participation of low-income households in the scheme, by mandating that at least one-in-five homes receiving grants under the program must be a low-income household.
From 2020, this requirement will be increase to 30% of households, which the ACT expects will result in an additional 400 low income households benefiting from the energy efficiency scheme.
While no specific details are available at this stage, the ACT Government has flagged that it will also examine how the energy efficiency scheme could be used to reduce emissions in the transport sector, including the introduction of new incentives to support the uptake of electric vehicles.
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