Page 2524 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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households in terms of their electricity bills but also in terms of achieving our greenhouse gas abatement targets.

The government will continue with this scheme. Indeed, I was pleased to announce on 1 July this year that we will be extending the benefits of this scheme to small and medium business enterprises. We want to make sure that the small shopkeepers of Canberra, the small business people of Canberra, also have an opportunity to reduce their electricity bills. As a result, we will be making sure that the scheme allows those businesses to install efficient space and water heating, lighting and standby power controllers so that they, too, can achieve savings in their businesses and help meet the pressures they face there.

These are very, very important reforms, reforms the government is very proud of, because it is achieving a twofold objective—saving households money on their electricity bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions helping to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction targets. I encourage those on the other side of the house to rethink their opposition to this excellent scheme. I think the figures speak for themselves, and they should be endorsing the program that helps households save money on their electricity bills and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, does the EEIS apply to the ACT government? If not, what is the government doing in its own operations to lead by example in terms of energy efficiency and emissions reduction?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the supplementary. The EEIS does not apply to the ACT government. It is only applying to householders who are customers and small and medium businesses who are customers of electricity companies in the ACT. But the government has its own strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to demonstrate energy efficiency in its operations. The government has set out a strategic pathway to achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets, including in government operations. The government has agreed to the implementation of a carbon neutral ACT government framework. As part of that framework, a $5 million carbon neutral government fund was established in the 2012-13 budget to assist ACT government directorates with this transition.

This fund makes loans available to ACT government agencies to implement energy efficiency initiatives. Savings generated through these initiatives repay the loan amounts lent to the agency from the central fund. Agencies are allowed to keep any additional savings over and above the repayment of the capital amount.

The first project funded under the fund was a $1.7 million project coordinated by the ACT Property Group to implement energy efficiency lighting across 28 government facilities. A second round has seen five applications received for consideration. Other projects supported to date by this fund include $138,000 to the TAMS directorate for an LED lighting retrofit at ACT libraries. This is estimated to reduce electricity use in ACT government libraries by 30 per cent. There is $72,000 to the Education and Training Directorate for solar hot-water installation at the Erindale College and leisure

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