There are two sides to the story when it comes to our energy bills - the supply side and the demand side.
The Australian Government has legislated emissions reductions targets of 43% by 2030 (on 2005 levels) and net zero by 2050. Australia’s energy sector is undergoing a rapid transformation, changing the way electricity is generated and consumed in Australia to achieve these targets.
A forward plan for demand-side action will help deliver a least-cost path through Australia’s energy transition while reducing emissions and improving energy affordability.
The National Energy Performance Strategy (NEPS) will improve energy performance across the economy. It will lower costs for households and businesses, reduce pressure on the energy system and help meet our emission reduction goals.
The first step for the strategy is the release of a discussion paper for your comment. The paper can be accessed via the Consultation hub. Comments will close on 3 February 2023.
Seb points out that there are a lot of questions but you don't have to comment on any you don't want to. Below are a few of Sebastian's contributions to a couple of the questions.
The fact that this community consultation is taking place and that we are talking about it helps remind us all to keep energy efficiency improvements and their importance front of mind. What's the next energy efficiency improvement you have planned in your life - at home or in your workplace? If you're looking for specific recommendations contact Sebastian - here's a link to his website.
What are the key opportunities to improve the energy performance of new and existing residential buildings?
* Engage and educate homeowners so they are more aware of the contributors and impact of energy performance in the home. Without their buy-in, improving the performance of residential buildings they own will be much more difficult.
* Identify the low hanging fruit in terms of energy performance improvements that will make the most difference to the performance of residential buildings, and run programs to incentive upgrades, particularly to existing buildings. Examples include heat pump hot water systems, highly rated RCAC, lighting upgrades, insulation. This process needn't exclude activities that have small to medium impact but are easier or less costly to implement, e.g. draught proofing, external awnings and thermal curtains.
* monitoring and evaluation: assess individual homes for what improvements would make the most difference, measure the before and after performance in terms of modelled energy costs, or star ratings.
What opportunities are there to improve or streamline existing policies aimed at empowering consumers to undertake energy performance improvements in their homes?
*Adopt State government policies that have proven successful at empowering consumers, in particular in Victoria and ACT e.g. the ACT's Actsmart Household Energy Efficiency Program for low income earners, as well at mandatory disclosure of energy ratings at point of sale.