Victoria’s peak social justice and environmental organisations have welcomed the State Opposition’s statements in Parliament yesterday in support of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET), and attempts to retain the target at its current level for 2015.
The Napthine government has introduced legislation to Parliament to wind up the VEET scheme by the end of 2015 and to reduce the annual target from 5.4 to 2.0 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement in the interim.
The One Million Homes Alliance supports energy efficiency as a cost-effective means of reducing energy use and greenhouse emissions, as well as reducing household and business energy bills. The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) has delivered on both of these objectives and has also led to the creation of a significant industry sector which employs over 2000 Victorians.
“The Government’s own report on VEET showed the scheme has been beneficial to low income households who participated. VEET should become an integral part of a suite of measures designed to lower energy costs for vulnerable Victorians, and this is why we support its retention,” said Emma King, CEO of Victorian Council of Social Service
“We estimate that the Government’s decision to reduce the target from 5.4 to 2.0 million tonnes will trigger a serious contraction of the energy efficiency market, resulting in the loss of 1100 jobs. This is roughly the same number of jobs to be lost from the closure of the Ford plants at Geelong and Broadmeadows and Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter combined,” said Donna Luckman, CEO of Alternative Technology Association
“Retaining the VEET and in particular expanding it to include small to medium-sized (SME) businesses, would capitalise on the investment that’s already been made, and ensure small business gets the benefits of reduced energy costs in difficult economic times,” said Paul Murfitt, CEO Moreland Energy Foundation.
“We welcome the ALP’s announcement it will reinstate VEET if elected, and urge Denis Napthine and the Coalition, as well as Geoff Shaw, to rethink scrapping VEET and the clean energy jobs it supports before the Bill returns to the Legislative Assembly in September,” said Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria.
The One Million Homes Alliance is strongly urging all sides of politics to support the continuation of VEET beyond 2015, and to maintain the target at a level that will continue to deliver significant energy efficiency, greenhouse gas abatement and job creation benefits to the Victorian economy.