Households can save up to 30% of their electricity bills by adopting the energy-efficiency measures already available, according to the 2008 report Energy and Equity, co-written by CHOICE, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Council of Social Service. While you're saving energy, money and the environment by turning off your lights and minimising home heating, we're looking to industry and government to find solutions that make saving energy even easier.
With heating and cooling and hot-water systems accounting for more than 70% of the average home's electricity use, the federal government's commitment to spend $4 billion on ceiling insulation and solar hot water systems is a step in the right direction. But we believe more is needed to adequately protect households against expected energy price rises.
This month, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will finalise its long-awaited National Energy Efficiency Strategy. A key part of the strategy is improving energy efficiency in the home, including focusing on building design and household products and appliances.
CHOICE is pleased the draft strategy improves household energy efficiency in seven critical areas:
Education campaigns on the most effective means to achieving energy and water efficiency.
Home audits of energy and water use that result in recommendations for behavioural change, physcial improvements and referrals to sources of assistance.
Financial and other assistance for low-income households to implement measures that improve water and energy efficiency
Improved labelling on products and appliances so that purchasers can make informed decisions about energy efficiency at the point of purchase.
Financial and taxation incentives to encourage landlords to retrofit properties to improve energy and water efficiency.
Improving energy and water efficiency in public housing.
Mandatory energy efficiency standards in all new buildings.
For more information, see our Greenpower campaign.