Vic energy upgrades, making hefty savings
In 2018, the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program saved more than 6.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, bringing the total of savings to almost 52 million tonnes since the scheme started in 2009.
Households that adopted approved lighting, water heating, refrigeration and other upgrades attracting a financial incentive saved an annual average of $176 and businesses saved $4200 on their energy bills, according to the VEU Performance Report 2018. The compounded savings year-on-year are saving billions of dollars for energy customers.
The VEU is critical to achieving Victoria’s emission reduction targets. A recent independent report to government has recommended reductions of 32–39% below 2005 levels by 2025 and 45–60% by 2030. The 60% target aligns with Climate Change Authority recommendations to stay within a 1.5°C temperature rise.
“We commend the Victorian Government on its continued strengthening of this program over the past 10 years and look forward to a further decade of commitment so significantly more savings can be achieved,” said Energy Savings Industry Association (ESIA) President Rod Woolley.
A five-yearly review of the VEU will commence by the end of 2019 and industry is anticipating that the scheme will be easier to access for more Victorians with a greater range of upgrade opportunities.
“We want old clunker air conditioners changed out rapidly, which will require a significant financial incentive, as households and businesses don’t bother otherwise — even though inefficient systems cost more to run.
“High volume change-outs will drive down peak demand significantly. This is especially high impact during high temperature days throughout summer when air conditioners go on simultaneously across Victoria — and in neighbouring heat-affected South Australia and New South Wales, which all share power supply through massive transmission lines and interconnectors,” Woolley explained.
Since 2009, more than 14,000 innovative, energy-saving products have been introduced to the market via the program.
“The VEU is driving technology transformation locally, across Australia and even internationally,” Woolley said.
“Without these schemes, we would all still be using highly inefficient light bulbs in our homes that consume 75 W instead of the 7 W LED now being achieved. Businesses would have 420 W lights where now they can be changed out for 80 or 100 W LED lights.
“Even 10 years on, the lighting upgrade market is far from saturated and we need the VEU to continue to support lighting change-outs. This will ensure innovative manufacturing businesses can expand their range and deliver them directly to customers.
“We commend the Essential Services Commission on working consultatively with industry to ensure that customers are well protected and that industry standards for technology accreditation under the VEU and upgrades compliance are high, as is the case and well documented in the latest report,” Woolley said.
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