Late last week, the Clean Energy Council, Australia’s national clean energy industry peak body, published a submission to the federal government underlining the concept of energy efficiency as being the cheapest path to a low carbon economy.
The Clean Energy Council maintains that a price on carbon alone would not achieve sufficient greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy coupled with encouraging the uptake of energy efficient appliances must feature prominently in any solid plan for addressing Australia’s obligations in reducing greenhouse gas production.
Energy efficiency can take many forms and every small effort multiplied can have a substantial effect – such as the transition to CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) lighting and reduction in stand by power loads, also known as vampire loads.
An area where major carbon dioxide reductions can be made is in relation to the heating of water. In Australia, electric and gas hot water systems account for approximately 20% of a household’s greenhouse gas emissions. By installing a solar hot water system, householders can drastically reduce these emissions and also save up to 75% of their water heating costs. Solar hot water systems are becoming increasingly more attractive for home owners since the implementation of government rebates available to eligible householders that can substantially reduce the cost of the equipment and installation.
The Clean Energy Council’s Green Paper submission can be viewed here (PDF)