Page 1229 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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The 2021 ACT budget announced $3.1 million over four years to continue the Solar for Low Income program and will enable the delivery of this part of the Home Energy Support program. By mid-2022, the Home Energy Support program will expand to include an additional rebate of up to $2,500 for other energy efficient products, including heating and cooling, hot-water heat pumps, and ceiling insulation. Additional measures to support public and private renters under the Home Energy Support Program will be announced in this financial year.

I will now turn to the Business Fleet Advisory Service. The vehicles we drive each day are responsible for around 60 per cent of all ACT greenhouse gas emissions. For many businesses, a well serviced vehicle fleet is an essential part of their operation. Ensuring our local businesses and community organisations are able to operate efficiently and sustainably is an important aspect of our net zero emissions transition. When it comes to zero emissions vehicles, we know we are only at the start of the revolution. We know that people have a lot of questions and that there are a lot of myths out there about electric vehicles. We have a role to play in helping our community make the best decisions, and that is why the ACT government has recently launched an advisory service to help Canberra businesses and community organisations transition their vehicle fleets to zero emissions vehicles.

The Business Fleet Advisory Service is free, and it provides Canberra businesses and community organisations with independent and targeted information on, and experience with, zero emissions vehicles and associated technologies to guide, equip and support them to adopt greener vehicle options in their fleets. The service is assisting businesses and community organisations by providing information on current ACT government financial incentives available to businesses; access to forums and events such as webinars and zero emissions vehicle test drive days; fleet transition information reports specific to a business’s fleet needs to help with business case development; detailed total cost of ownership comparisons; and information on zero-emissions vehicle charging requirements and charger options.

So far, 14 businesses have participated in the program and have received fleet transition information and advice tailored to their businesses. You might have seen some of the recent media coverage of local businesses who have used this service and are realising the savings benefits that transitioning to zero emissions vehicles can have for their business. This includes Nordic Blinds, who have found that their electric vehicles have been saving them around $7,000 to $9,000 per 50,000 km of travel. This shows the potential of this service and its benefit to our local businesses and community organisations. The Fleet Advisory Service builds on the support already available to Canberra businesses to become more sustainable and reduce emissions through the government’s Everyday Climate Choices initiative.

Both programs complement a range of supports available for businesses and vulnerable households, as well as other parts of the community. The success of the programs is in their simple design and accessibility by the community seeking tailored advice, financial support and tools to make their lives more sustainable. I look forward to seeing these two important initiatives continue to create real change for our community and assist more people to make everyday climate choices as part of the transition towards a net zero emissions future.

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