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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 February 2015) . . Page.. 418 ..

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR CORBELL: It is such a radical concept that it is endorsed by the Baird Liberal government in New South Wales, who are extending the application of their energy efficiency improvement scheme. The Liberals really are a complete embarrassment on this issue. They are the only Liberal Party in the country that is opposing measures that deliver net savings to households through the energy efficiency improvement scheme. I beg your pardon, there was one other: the Napthine government tried to close down their energy efficiency improvement scheme, but we all know what happened to the Napthine Liberal government.

Low income households have been the beneficiaries of the EEIS to date, with 30 per cent of savings occurring to households over and above the mandated 25 per cent target. The intent of this scheme is to provide for a market-based scheme that places an obligation on electricity retailers in the ACT to achieve energy savings. A review of the scheme tabled in the Assembly last year—unlikely to have been read by those opposite—found that it is successfully meeting these aims, helping ACT households access significant energy and cost savings. The review estimated that the net present value of energy cost savings from activities undertaken to date is $1,614 per participating household, or $318 in annual savings—$318 in annual savings off those participating households’ electricity and gas bills.

Based on the success of the EEIS to date and recent modelling showing ongoing net economic benefits for the economy and for households, the government is currently undertaking work to extend the scheme to 2020. I am confident, based on the preliminary modelling, that these measures will return further savings well beyond the cost of our community’s renewable energy investments. What this of course highlights is that we can reduce our emissions and save on the household budget. We will be 90 per cent renewable by 2020 and we will continue to have the lowest electricity prices in the country.

Another innovative scheme worth mentioning, which again assists household budgets, is the ACT’s ACTSmart program. The ACTSmart program directly benefits participating households by assisting them with household cost of living pressures. This assistance is via the outreach energy and water efficiency program, the home energy advice service, home energy action kits and other online information available through the ACTSmart website.

The program is tailored to give the vulnerable in our community—whether they are renting in private accommodation or in public housing—and pensioners on a fixed and low income assistance based on an assessment of their particular needs by an energy efficiency officer. The program provides in-home education, retrofits and appliances to help low income households manage energy cost of living pressures. This customised approach is helping those participants save money in a very direct and meaningful way.

There is no doubt that making the transition to a clean energy future, to a renewable energy future, can be done in a way that saves households money on their electricity

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