Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson said “Under the existing Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) Program industry participants have reported annual net cost savings in 2011 of over $800 million and it is important that we spread the benefits of this program to other sectors where it can be proven there is a net benefit.”
The trials for energy transmission and distribution networks, major greenfield sites and expansion projects will be undertaken over the next twelve months and will include thorough consultation with industry throughout the process to ensure the development of an effective assessment and reporting framework.
“While the expansion of the EEO Program offers potential energy saving benefits to these sectors, the Government recognises the need to work collaboratively with industry to optimise outcomes for program participants,” said Mr Ferguson.
“During consultations undertaken earlier this year industry raised the need for more time to fully understand and appreciate how the application of the EEO Program will operate when applied to both energy networks and greenfield sites and the Government has taken this feedback on board.Article continues below…
“The trials will better inform how the program should be applied and the relative costs and benefits of program participation to these sectors.”
In addition, the Government will undertake a statutory review of the first five-year cycle of the EEO program. This review will assess the effectiveness of the program in building energy management capability and identifying and implementing cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.
“In 2011, EEO Program participants reported that they have or will implement energy savings of almost 90 petajoules of energy. This represents 1.5 per cent of Australia’s total energy use and is the equivalent energy use of 1.8 million Australian households,” said Mr Ferguson.
“While these are good results, it is important that we look at how we can further streamline the EEO program with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting requirements to reduce the regulatory burden on industry while still delivering energy savings to business.”
The necessary EEO regulatory amendments to facilitate this trial will be tabled by the Federal Government in due course in preparation for participation of the networks and greenfield sectors. The Government will consider further regulatory changes as required following the outcome of the trials and following industry consultation and feedback.
The Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism will soon release additional details on the timing of the program expansion, including industry consultation and any expressions of interest from industry to participate in the trials.