Matthew Guy’s plan to subsidise the replacement of inefficient televisions and refrigerators is a welcome recognition of the importance of energy efficiency, but a potential threat to existing successful rebate programs, said Environment Victoria today.
“It’s good to see the Coalition finally recognising the importance of energy efficiency programs,” said Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham.
“Refrigerators and televisions can be large consumers of electricity, and assistance for low income households to replace old appliances will be welcome.
“However the state’s legislated Energy Efficiency Target already provides rebates for households and business to upgrade a wide range of appliances including televisions and fridges lighting, but also including other items like heaters, air-conditioners and lighting upgrades.
“This announcement begs the question of whether the Coalition plans to follow in the Napthine Government’s footsteps to try to scrap the Victorian Energy Upgrades program, which delivers the Energy Efficiency Target.
“The Victorian Energy Upgrades program has been a huge success delivering massive energy bill savings and creating over 2000 jobs in the energy efficiency industry.
“We call on the Liberals to urgently clarify whether the new rebates would operate alongside the Victorian Energy Upgrades program, or would replace it.
“In speaking with Neil Mitchell this morning, Mr Guy suggested existing rebates would remain. However, the Liberal Party has not responded to letters from the energy efficiency industry and environment groups asking the Liberals to rule out their past approach of scrapping Victorian Energy Upgrades program if they win government.
“This new program is only welcome if existing energy efficiency programs are maintained. It’s time for a clear statement of support from the Liberals for all existing state government energy efficiency programs,” said Mr Wakeham.
Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
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