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Greens get their energy efficiency bill up

By johnboy - 3 May 2012 13

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury is celebrating getting new household energy efficiency laws through the Legislative Assembly:

The bill will assist up to 70,000 Canberra households to achieve energy reductions and energy bill savings of over $300 annually by 2015. It will also deliver cuts of more than 6% in stationary emissions by 2015.

“The Greens are particularly supportive of the way this scheme will deliver benefits for low income households and renters,” said Shane Rattenbury, Greens Energy spokesperson.

“The new law mandates a focus on low income households who spend a much greater proportion of their income on energy. This is a practical measure to deliver long-lasting assistance to these households.

“Experience from the South Australian scheme has shown real benefits for renters. The proportion of renters participating is just as high as non-renters and this figure has been rising in recent years.

UPDATE 03/05/12 14:54: This in from the Greens:

We supported, and amended the bill, but it was tabled by Simon Corbell. So while it is green in nature, it is technically a Government Bill.

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13 Responses to
Greens get their energy efficiency bill up
GardeningGirl 11:55 am 07 May 12

My first house had those little electric wall heaters, expensive to run and inefficient. So I’m all for helping people convert to heating which is better for the environment and provides them more comfort. But as soon as I saw Greens, or for that matter Legislative Assembly, or for that matter politicians, I kinda switched off.

Btw wasn’t there a scheme to help people replace wood with gas? So why are people still installing wood? And whatever happened to the education schemes we’ve been promised for decades so people will use wood heaters correctly, and the cold air inversion warning scheme to be included in the weather forecasts so people will know which nights not to use them? I hope the neighbours who installed one recently get the hang of operating it correctly soon, wood heaters do not have to make that much smoke. At this rate I might have to go shopping for a clothes dryer soon.

Another thing that annoys me is the renovated old houses for sale with all the fancy kitchens and bathrooms and the staging with rented furniture, but there’s the useless little electric wall heater and the energy rating is zero. Surely wall and ceiling insulation would get you half a star (can anybody confirm that, Gungahlin Al do you know?). In a little old renovated 3 bedder I’d consider good heating for Canberra’s winter a higher priority than a luxury kitchen and bathroom more befitting a McMansion. Why isn’t there a requirement in reno’s over a certain value to include sensible practical improvements? Oh but that would mean a government scheme . . . .

wildturkeycanoe said :

As far as I can tell, Actew will have to subsidize insulation, draft stoppers and other green measures for low income earners. Savings will be around $300 p.a. Let’s say an average electricity bill for those in rentals [where “state of the art” appliances from the 70’s are installed] is around $1000 a year. When Actew increases it’s price by 25%, most of the $300 has been eaten up already. I bet Actew will also add some more to their increases to cater for these “green” initiatives.
Weren’t energy efficient light bulbs free only some 5 years ago as part of some kind of scheme and how did the last insulation scheme go down? In flames. Anyone who can’t afford a $5 draft stopper needs a bullet in their head if they are worried about their heating bill of $500 per quarter.
This sounds like nothing more than a “feel good” thing for the Green party, trying to pick up what’s left of the Labor party’s mess.

+1
I wonder how many people put those free bulbs in dimmer lights. I only found out they weren’t compatible because I spoke at length to someone about the technology and eventually that little detail came out, followed by there’s no such thing as cfl’s that can be used with dimmers (untrue, dimmable cfl’s existed overseas back then) and we don’t have anywhere to take them for safe disposal (something else that had been thought of overseas) but I seem to remember Australia patting itself on the back for being the first country in the world to make cfl’s compulsory. Why is it that I seem to know more by reading than all those politicians do with their taxpayer funded study trips? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/taxpayers-fund-travel-to-political-talkfests-20120504-1y4nj.html Don’t they ever learn anything?

So yeah, another government scheme? Excuse my cynicism.

davo101 11:29 am 07 May 12

djk said :

Anyone got a direct link to the impending legislation that is to come in, and when?

Given that winter is coming and people will probably be sorting out new appliances and energy saving/efficiency stuff around the house now, would be good to now if we should wait.

Starts in 2013.

djk 9:42 am 07 May 12

Anyone got a direct link to the impending legislation that is to come in, and when?

Given that winter is coming and people will probably be sorting out new appliances and energy saving/efficiency stuff around the house now, would be good to now if we should wait.

pajs 9:26 am 04 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

As far as I can tell, Actew will have to subsidize insulation, draft stoppers and other green measures for low income earners. Savings will be around $300 p.a. Let’s say an average electricity bill for those in rentals [where “state of the art” appliances from the 70’s are installed] is around $1000 a year. When Actew increases it’s price by 25%, most of the $300 has been eaten up already. I bet Actew will also add some more to their increases to cater for these “green” initiatives.
Weren’t energy efficient light bulbs free only some 5 years ago as part of some kind of scheme and how did the last insulation scheme go down? In flames. Anyone who can’t afford a $5 draft stopper needs a bullet in their head if they are worried about their heating bill of $500 per quarter.
This sounds like nothing more than a “feel good” thing for the Green party, trying to pick up what’s left of the Labor party’s mess.

You do realise this doesn’t make sense? If energy prices go up (and they will), your $ saving from increased efficiency isn’t ‘eaten up’ by the price rise. The saving increases (in straight dollar terms) as energy prices rise and you have locked in lower use.

As for ‘free’ energy efficient light bulbs – what you are recalling is utilities and other organisations giving away things like compact flouros and low-flow showerheads as there were emissions reduction crediting schemes in place. Lighting efficiency and hot water efficiency have been strong contributors to reduced emissions in Australian domestic energy use over the past decade, compared to where we would have been without them.

Lastly, to your throw-away line about the last insulation scheme going ‘up in flames’. Can I suggest you read a bit beyond the Murdoch press and lazy ABC reporting on this. Ask yourself if the home insulation program caused there to be a lot more insulation installation activity in Australia. Then ask yourself if, per install, things were more dangerous before or after there was the HIP scheme. If you think ‘more dangerous’ per install, then you’ve been mislead by what you’ve read and heard. Independent reviews of the scheme, including by the CSIRO, produced findings that insulation (having it, installing it) was safer because of the HIP scheme than before the scheme was there.

It’s an indictment of Australian journalism, I know, that these facts are not more widely known. But don’t take my word for it. Go and have a look at the numbers yourself, via http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/10/19/insulation-fire-risk-%e2%80%93-the-data-is-in/

Embrace the experience of having your opinions changed by the facts.

pajs 9:12 am 04 May 12

For a lot of low-income earners, including pensioners, stuck in energy-inefficient circumstances, the up-front cost of appliances or other efficiency upgrades is too high a hurdle to get over. Tasking the utilities to pitch in on this, given their proximity to the customers and the systems (including billing) they have in place, doesn’t seem that bad an idea to me.

It’s also a pretty established approach. California has been tasking the utilities to drive energy efficiency since the early 1980s, including ‘decoupling’ energy sales from utility profits, with good results. You can get a slice of the history of what California has done from this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602274_pf.html

Energy efficiency is the cheapest source of additional energy supply and greenhouse emissions reductions we have. This measure by itself isn’t a big change, but it could make a contribution and sort out some market failures.

wildturkeycanoe 9:32 pm 03 May 12

As far as I can tell, Actew will have to subsidize insulation, draft stoppers and other green measures for low income earners. Savings will be around $300 p.a. Let’s say an average electricity bill for those in rentals [where “state of the art” appliances from the 70’s are installed] is around $1000 a year. When Actew increases it’s price by 25%, most of the $300 has been eaten up already. I bet Actew will also add some more to their increases to cater for these “green” initiatives.
Weren’t energy efficient light bulbs free only some 5 years ago as part of some kind of scheme and how did the last insulation scheme go down? In flames. Anyone who can’t afford a $5 draft stopper needs a bullet in their head if they are worried about their heating bill of $500 per quarter.
This sounds like nothing more than a “feel good” thing for the Green party, trying to pick up what’s left of the Labor party’s mess.

chewy14 7:37 pm 03 May 12

devils_advocate said :

chewy14 said :

OK,
now to figure out the best way to rort this.

The page/link doesn’t actually say what the law is or what it requires, or who is required to do it. It just says it will deliver energy savings for households.
Is this the law that requires landlords to ensure their houses meet minimum energy efficiency ratings?

No, its the one where your electricity provider has to pay partly for you to install energy efficient appliances.

PantsMan 6:08 pm 03 May 12

So Pantsman (renting) everyone gets screwed to subsidise other peoples’ (home owners’ and investors’) home renovations?

Solar Feed-in Tariff again. FFS! What month is October in again?

devils_advocate 5:41 pm 03 May 12

chewy14 said :

OK,
now to figure out the best way to rort this.

The page/link doesn’t actually say what the law is or what it requires, or who is required to do it. It just says it will deliver energy savings for households.
Is this the law that requires landlords to ensure their houses meet minimum energy efficiency ratings?

chewy14 3:51 pm 03 May 12

OK,
now to figure out the best way to rort this.

davo101 3:35 pm 03 May 12

Rollersk8r said :

Just checking – isn’t absolutely everything proportionally more expensive for low income earners?

Yes, but if you read more closely it says spend.

Sean 3:34 pm 03 May 12

Rollersk8r said :

Just checking – isn’t absolutely everything proportionally more expensive for low income earners?

Not yachts. Poor people buy hardly any yachts.

Rollersk8r 3:17 pm 03 May 12

Just checking – isn’t absolutely everything proportionally more expensive for low income earners?

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