COAG launches National Energy Productivity Plan

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council has developed the National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP).

The NEPP has been developed to boost Australia’s competitiveness, help consumers manage their energy costs and reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To help meet the 40 per cent National Energy Productivity Target, the Federal and State governments have committed $18 million towards these actions, including;

  • $2 million for Energy Consumers Australia to lead research to make energy choices easier for consumers through better labels, personalised smart apps and new services for vulnerable customers.
  • Up to $1.7 million this financial year for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, including:
    • $400,000 specifically for the world-leading National Australian Building Energy Rating Scheme to accelerate new tools for commercial buildings and apartment blocks
    • Funding towards implementation of updated commercial building standards in the 2019 Australian Building Codes Board review of the National Construction Code
    • Funding to develop the case for new proposed residential building standards
  • $3.2 million this financial year for the new prioritisation strategy for accelerating appliance energy efficiency standards
  • $2.3 million this financial year for related work as part of the Gas Supply Strategy
  • $6 million to develop an Energy Use Data Model to support better forecasting and policy.

The Government will continue to drive new measures through the NEPP and other programs to unlock Australia’s full energy productivity potential.

However, Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said that the Energy Ministers have indicated they are either unwilling or unable to grapple with the real issues of Australia’s gas markets.

Ms Cartwright said the decision to prioritise pipeline regulation above all other aspects of the gas market is very disappointing.

“The meeting communique noted that a key issue for gas market reform would be to increase the overall supply and the number of suppliers, but more pipeline regulation will do nothing to deliver those increases,” said Ms Cartwright.

“The pipeline industry accepts sensible change such as proposals from the AEMC to introduce new gas markets, capacity auctions and trading platforms to improve the operation of the gas market.

“By choosing to prioritise consideration of the ACCC’s recommendation on pipeline regulation, there is a very real risk of delaying the widely accepted AEMC proposals.

“The continued fascination with pipeline reform is inexplicable when transmission costs make up such a small proportion of a user’s gas bill – less than 5 per cent for households and less than 10 per cent for large users like manufacturers.

“Six years ago, the wholesale price of gas was $3 and transport costs were $1. Now the wholesale price of gas is more than $6 and transport prices are still $1.”

To find out more about the NEPP visit www.industry.gov.au/Energy/Pages/National-Energy-Productivity-Plan.aspx

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