Victoria’s Labor government has announced plans to expand the state’s energy reduction scheme – the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) – as part of its effort to cut the state’s emissions and reduce electricity bills for households and business.
The changes, revealed on Tuesday by state energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio at the government’s Energy Efficiency and Productivity Summit, will extend the scheme from three years to five years, and boost the target by 20 per cent over five years, from 5.4 million certificates in 2016 to 6.5 million certificates in 2020.
VEET works by providing an incentive for homes and businesses to save energy, by offering certificates in return for eligible energy efficiency activities, such as draft reduction, insulation and the installation of efficient lights, heating systems and appliances. To date, it estimated to have saved homes and businesses millions of dollars on their energy bills.
The changes to the scheme been welcomed by the energy efficiency industry, after a period of uncertainty under the former Baillieu-Napthine government, which had proposed scrapping VEET entirely, after a review suggested that its benefits were limited.
The highly criticised May 2014 report, which recommended closing VEET down in 2015, contrasted with all other assessments of the scheme at the time, which found that it delivered significant economic benefits.
“The Energy Efficiency Council welcomes the Victorian government’s commitment to raise the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target. As Lily D’Ambrosio, the Minister for Energy, said, this will lower bills for homes and businesses while creating more jobs in the energy efficiency sector,” said EEC chief Luke Menzel in a media statement.
“New targets for the VEET program for the next five years give the energy efficiency industry certainty,” said Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham on Tuesday.
“Now they can get on with the job of making our homes and businesses cheaper to run, more comfortable to live in, and better for the environment.
“The target will rise over the next five years to a 2020 target of 6.5 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution reduction. The Andrews Government is sending a strong signal that it wants clean energy jobs and less pollution.
“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.
“Aiming to improve existing homes to an average standard of 5 stars (up from the current average of less than 2 stars) would create thousands of jobs and deliver large reductions in the state’s greenhouse pollution and water use.”
The VEET targets from 2016 to 2020 are as follows:
– 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