Page 2040 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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Stakeholders have also noted the value in the EEIS alignment with other jurisdictional schemes to date and recommended further harmonisation across Australian schemes be pursued. Responding to this feedback, the bill presented today not only extends the EEIS to 31 December 2020 but also provides for a number of changes that will provide greater opportunities for harmonisation with other schemes and cost-effective energy efficiency activities.

This includes a mechanism for the administrator to register approved abatement providers who are eligible to undertake EEIS activities in the ACT and create abatement that may be purchased by a retailer to meet an energy savings target. Amendments also provide that the administrator can recognise abatement created in the ACT in accordance with activities in other jurisdictional schemes.

These amendments will increase opportunities for harmonisation with other jurisdictional schemes and the ability of providers to operate across jurisdictional schemes to deliver new energy saving activities in the ACT. This will also open up opportunities for those already delivering energy saving activities in the ACT to deliver activities under the EEIS.

The bill also responds to the needs of retailers identified in the review for greater notice time when increasing a future energy saving target or emissions multiplier. Additional clarity regarding when an electricity retailer transitions from being a tier 2 to a tier 1 retailer is also provided for in these amendments.

A comprehensive regulatory impact assessment and detailed modelling was undertaken to inform the development of the bill. The assessment includes detailed analysis of the likely impacts of the scheme, including a comprehensive analysis of the likely economic costs and benefits for the territory. This analysis concludes that the objectives of the policy, including substantial energy, greenhouse gas savings and enhanced social equity, can be achieved with net economic benefits for the ACT.

Continuing the EEIS will contribute to achieving the government’s greenhouse gas reduction targets while also reducing energy bill stress for households and small to medium enterprises. The cost of abatement under the scheme is modelled at negative $78 per tonne, and the EEIS will result in a net present value to the ACT economy of around $40 million.

The future energy saving targets to 2020 represent a similar level of ambition to the current scheme in terms of anticipated total scheme costs and projected electricity and gas savings. Although estimated household savings have declined slightly from estimates for the original scheme due to lower than expected electricity and gas prices, householders are still expected to save $3.20 per week on average in 2020 on their energy bills. Pass-through costs associated with the scheme are not expected to increase from current levels, so households and businesses should not see any increase in their energy bills as a result of extending the EEIS.

Importantly, low income households will continue to be a key focus of the EEIS to 2020. We know low income households are least equipped to carry the burden of high

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