Magazine article Ecos

Aspiring to Consume Less

Magazine article Ecos

Aspiring to Consume Less

Article excerpt

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The Prime Minister's Task Group on Energy Efficiency has recommended a suite of measures to significantly reduce Australia's energy intensity, and take advantage of financial, social and economic returns. But some argue that making the most of the opportunities identified by the report requires decisive and dedicated leadership.

The Task Group's report, released in October, identified that a household implementing just two energy saving technologies in 2020 could save $296 per year compared with a business-as-usual scenario.

The report recommends five foundation measures and a suite of complementary measures, which together with a price on carbon, would improve Australia's energy efficiency performance. The foundation measures include a national energy-efficiency target of 30 per cent, a national energy savings initiative scheme, and a nation-wide strategy to build an energy-efficiency culture. Interestingly, the report found that while Australia has addressed improving minimum acceptable energy performance standards, it has not targeted world best practice and is lagging behind other OECD nations.

Environmental groups have welcomed the report as a comprehensive review and a blueprint for smarter energy use.

'Improving energy efficiency, across all sectors of the economy, is long overdue and critical to ensure the longterm global competitiveness and productivity of a range of sectors from manufacturing to mining,' says Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute, Mr Erwin Jackson.

Energy Efficiency Council CEO, Mr Rob Murray-Leach, says the report shows ambition and comprehensively covers a broad range of policies needed to address energy efficiency.

'It's not a case of there being a silver bullet in energy efficiency,' he says. 'We need a mixture of leaders to really drive it forward.'

Leadership is a crucial issue, especially in light of the report's recommendation to bring about change and build a nation-wide energy efficiency culture in Australia.

Dr Michael Smith, Research Fellow at the Australian National University's Fenner School of Environment and Society, commends the report's comprehensive and holistic approach. …

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