Media Releases | 17th Nov, 2020

Environment Victoria welcomes unprecedented investment in energy efficiency

Today’s massive announcement on energy efficiency shows the Andrews government is giving this important issue the priority it deserves, Environment Victoria said today.

Among a $797 million package of measures, the Andrews government announced:

  • $335 million to replace old wood, gas and electric heaters with efficient electric heaters
  • A commitment to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties, including insulation and draught-sealing
  • $112 million for upgrades to heating, cooling, hot water and draught-sealing in 35,000 social housing units
    Expansions of the Solar Homes and Solar Batteries rebate schemes

Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle said:

“This level of investment in energy efficiency is unprecedented from any state government and makes Victoria a clear leader on this critical issue. It’s exactly the kind of economy-stimulating and job-creating climate solutions we wanted to see in the Andrews government’s budget.

“This will benefit hundreds of thousands of Victorians through more comfortable and cheaper to run homes.

“By international standards, Australia is way behind on household energy performance. Many of our homes are glorified tents, freezing in winter and sweltering in summer.

“Inefficient homes are unhealthy homes. More Victorians die from living in cold homes than they do in Sweden – a much colder country. The heatwave before Black Saturday in 2009 was responsible for more deaths than the fires themselves.

“Energy efficiency is a smart form of economic stimulus in our post-pandemic recovery because it lowers bills and cuts greenhouse gas pollution while also creating many local jobs in a range of trades across the state.”

On the $335 million to replace old heaters with efficient electric heaters and the $112 million for upgrades to heating, cooling and hot-water appliances in social housing:

“This is a massive and very welcome scheme to replace old inefficient heaters. Energy use in our homes contributes to around 20 percent of Victoria’s greenhouse gas pollution, and the biggest energy guzzlers are heaters.

“Efficient reverse-cycle air-conditions are now the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way of heating a home, so this is great news for people’s bills and for the climate.

“Replacing hundreds of thousands of old, inefficient gas heaters also means Victoria should have no need for new environmentally damaging gas supply projects, like AGL’s plans to import gas through Crib Point in Westernport Bay.”

On minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties:

“Renters are often at a disadvantage because they’re not in a position to upgrade the home they live in, and landlords often don’t have the incentive to do anything. Minimum standards for energy efficiency are needed to tackle this problem,” said Dr Nicholas Aberle.

Environment Victoria has home energy efficiency profiles and case studies available for the media.

For comment

Greg Foyster, Media and Content Manager
Phone: 0410879031

Nicholas Aberle, Campaigns Manager
Phone: 0402512121