Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Australian Governments commitment to energy saving

The Council of Australian Governments’ Meeting on 2 July 2009 issued a COAG Communique with a 10-year strategy of energy efficiency for Australian Governments. Unfortunately there was no mention of efficiency standards for computers, monitors or telecommunications equipment, data centres. Nor was there any reference to standards for energy saving through ICT by government agencies.

COAG also adopted a comprehensive 10-year strategy to accelerate energy efficiency improvements as a key component of the overall approach to combat climate change. It also received briefings from the Deputy National Security Adviser on the swine influenza pandemic and the Coordinator-General regarding the implementation of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. As well, COAG asked for an international student strategy to be developed for its consideration before the end of 2009. ...

in relation to energy efficiency, the ceiling insulation and solar hot water programs are already in operation with more than 60,000 applications for rebates received, with the longer-term arrangements for ceiling insulation, with installers being paid the rebate directly by the Commonwealth, applying from 1 July 2009. ...

For the first time, Australian Governments have agreed a comprehensive 10-year strategy to accelerate energy efficiency improvements for householders and businesses across all sectors of the economy. Accelerating energy efficiency is a key plank in the strategy to combat climate change, reduce the cost of emissions abatement and improve the productivity of the economy. The strategy will complement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by addressing the barriers that are preventing the efficient uptake of energy efficient opportunities, such as split incentives and information failures.

COAG today signed the National Partnership Agreement on Energy Efficiency, which will deliver a nationally-consistent and cooperative approach to energy efficiency, encompassing:
• assistance to households to reduce energy use by providing information and advice, financial assistance and demonstration programs;
• assistance to business and industry to obtain the knowledge, skills and capacity to pursue cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities and therefore meet the challenges of a low carbon economy;
• higher energy efficiency standards to deliver substantial growth in the number of highly energy efficient homes and buildings, and provide a clear road map to assist Australia’s residential and commercial building sector to adapt;
• nationally-consistent energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment and a process to enable industry to adjust to increasingly stringent standards over time;
• introducing in 2010 new standards for the energy performance of air conditioners and increasing the standard by a further 10 per cent from 1 October 2011;
• addressing potential regulatory impediments to the take up of innovative demand side initiatives and smart grid technologies;
• governments working in partnership to improve the energy efficiency of their own buildings and operations; and
• a detailed assessment of possible vehicle efficiency measures, such as CO2 emission standards for light vehicles. The regulatory statement will assess the impact of both voluntary and mandatory standards on the automotive industry and the complementarity of measures with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. COAG will make a final decision following thorough consultation with industry and the community.

All regulatory measures will be subject to normal regulatory impact assessment. emission standards, which international studies have indicated have the capacity to reduce fuel consumption by 30 per cent over the medium term, and significantly contribute to emissions reductions.
In addition to an $88 million commitment for joint measures, the strategy builds on the substantial investments and commitments being made by all jurisdictions to driving energy efficiency in their own jurisdictions.

The vehicle efficiency measures result from the work of the Australian Transport Council and the Environment Protection and Heritage Council and are aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicle fleet.

COAG agreed to undertake a Regulatory Impact Statement to assess the costs and benefits of introducing CO2
COAG also agreed to improve the availability of fuel consumption data so that consumers are better equipped to make informed purchasing decisions. COAG further agreed to ask the Henry Tax Review to consider the merit of financial incentives for the purchase of fuel efficient cars and assess the merits of differential stamp duty and registration regimes linked to environmental performance. ...

Australian Energy Market Agreement
COAG today signed the revised Australian Energy Market Agreement, which has been amended to specify that, where retail prices are regulated, energy costs associated with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and the Renewable Energy Target shall be passed through to end-use consumers. These price increases, together with more cost-reflective retail prices, including the phase-out of retail price caps where competition is found to be effective, will help drive more efficient use of energy and assist in managing peak energy demand growth. ...

From: COAG Communique, Council of Australian Governments’ Meeting on 2 July 2009

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