Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Threatened

The war on green schemes relating to energy is continuing – the latest victim could be the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target  (VEET).

The VEET scheme is designed to make energy efficiency improvements more affordable. It commenced on 1 January 2009 and was legislated to continue in three-year phases until 1 January 2030.

However, it may meet a very premature end.

On Sunday, the Herald Sun published a story on a “secret government report” into the scheme that recommended it be abolished and replaced by 2015. Among the reasons reportedly stated is the scheme has been labeled inefficient and a burden to other electricity users.

The Clean Energy Council says claims axing the scheme would provide substantial power bill relief are wrong; as is the conclusion it is ineffective.

“The program is getting through to those that need it most and previous studies have shown that it is working well at a low cost,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green.

“Two out of every five households in the program have below-average incomes and a third are on some form of welfare.”

Among the products covered under the scheme are selected solar hot water systems and heat pumps. Water heating represents one of the most greenhouse gas and energy intensive activities in a household. This is particularly so in Victoria given much of the state’s electricity generation is through the burning of brown coal – one of the filthiest fossil fuels.

Mr Green said the ‘secret’ modelling released to select media outlets should be fully released for public scrutiny and is confident that scrutiny will reveal VEET is continuing to deliver, both in terms of household savings and the economic activity it creates.

According to the Clean Energy Council, VEET  has slashed energy costs for approximately 1.3 million households and businesses; plus has supported thousands of jobs in Victoria’s economy.