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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1911..


Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement Bill 2012

Debate resumed from 22 March 2012, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.51): The Greens have been waiting for this legislation for several years now. It is clear that strong approaches to energy efficiency are imperative in any successful climate strategy. The modelling behind weathering the change 2 is unequivocal in this regard, as are energy experts worldwide who agree that energy efficiency is the biggest and best option for cheaply reducing emissions and dealing with rising energy bills. In avoiding runaway climate change, it is clear that we cannot rely upon mechanisms such as the carbon price alone. The need for complementary measures such as energy efficiency are as relevant as ever and, I think, well recognised in the design of these schemes.

Whilst there are plans for a national energy efficiency retailer obligation scheme which will replace existing state-based schemes, a national scheme will not be implemented for at least another two to three years, during which time significant abatement could be delivered should the ACT adopt its own scheme as the Assembly is proposing to do today. Given our 40 per cent target, and in light of rising energy prices and the risk that poses to our community, it makes sense to get on with this job now.

There are a number of strengths in this scheme and I want to touch on a few of those. The Greens support the development of a market-based approach to energy efficiency. There are currently multiple barriers to the uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency measures and schemes such as this can go a long way towards overcoming these barriers. We note that a range of other jurisdictions, both nationally and internationally, already have retailer obligation schemes which have delivered positive outcomes, including marked emissions reductions, market expansion and net economic benefits to consumers.

The benefit to consumers, both residential and non-residential, is evident in the modelling and is also, frankly, just common sense. The most important factor, in my mind, is that this scheme is a smart investment. It begins to deliver quickly and the benefits last in the long run. In the first three years of the scheme the modelling and the regulatory impact statement indicate that the expected cost of the scheme for a household, on average, will be $87, with average annual savings of $392—a net saving of $305.

What particularly exemplifies the advantage of a scheme like this is that the costs stop after three years but the benefits continue to rise, with an estimated total lifetime saving of $2,140 on average. It is really typical of the sorts of ideas that the Greens


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