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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 5 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1614..


Building (Energy Efficient Hot Water Systems) Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo): I seek leave to amend my notice by omitting the words "and for other purposes".

Leave granted.

Ms Le Couteur, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (10.21): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am very pleased to introduce the Building (Energy Efficient Hot Water Systems) Legislation Amendment Bill 2009. The purpose of this bill is to reduce the environmental impacts and financial costs of hot-water systems for ACT homes. The hot-water systems covered by this bill are those that supply hot water for domestic purposes such as washing, bathing and showering.

The bill sets an energy efficiency standard that hot-water systems must meet before they can be installed in ACT houses or townhouses. The standard would allow the installation of low emission hot-water services such as solar, heat pump or high efficiency five-star gas. Most importantly, electric storage heaters, which cause around four times as many greenhouse gas emissions as the more efficient systems, would not meet the standard. These are the most common type of hot-water system in the ACT and around Australia.

The effect of the bill is that, in the future, any person installing a hot-water system in a new home or townhouse would need to install one of the efficient systems which would meet the standard. Also, from 2010, any person replacing their hot-water system would have to install one of the efficient systems. However, no-one would be forced to replace an existing hot-water system that is still working. In this way, over time, all the inefficient hot-water systems will be gradually replaced.

The most obvious impact of this bill is that it will make an important contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT. Of all the greenhouse gas reduction options facing governments, energy efficiency is the lowest hanging fruit. It is a low-cost climate change response.

As I said, electric water heaters are the most common type in use in the ACT and they have the highest greenhouse impact. Water heating accounts for about 25 per cent of the energy used in an average home and is responsible for 23 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from home energy use. Household water heating is actually equivalent to three per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions. To put that in perspective, it is about the same amount as Australia's aviation emissions. So there are significant gains that could be made in this area.


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