Energy efficiency slashes bills, creates jobs: report
Improving the energy efficiency of Australian homes and businesses would slash $7.7 billion a year off energy bills and create the equivalent of 120,000 full-time jobs, according to a new report.
The report, ‘Energy Efficiency Employment in Australia’, commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) and Energy Savings Industry Association (ESIA) and written by Green Energy Markets, also found that better energy efficiency would cut household gas use by 640 million gigajoules over a decade — the equivalent of a huge gas field, or enough to provide almost a quarter of Australian manufacturers’ gas needs.
“Energy efficiency schemes at the state level have been effective in helping homes and businesses cut energy bills and driving investment and innovation in clean technology,” said ESIA President Rod Woolley.
“These schemes must be scaled up and implemented nationwide to maximise their benefits for homes, business and industry; failure to do so is leaving money on the table.”
“Energy efficiency is a huge opportunity — we can cut households’ and businesses’ energy bills by $7.7 billion a year,” added EEC Head of Policy Rob Murray-Leach.
“Improving energy efficiency will also create thousands of jobs across the economy, making Australia cleaner, fairer and more affordable.”
The report noted that energy efficiency is already Australia’s largest ‘energy employer’, employing 25% more people than coal mining. About 500,000 electricians, architects and engineers spend some of their time working on energy efficiency, which adds up to 59,000 full-time jobs in the sector.
The report found that improving and expanding state energy efficiency could deliver 43,000 FTE job-years of employment. Upgrading homes with features like water heating, weather sealing and LED lights could meanwhile save households $2.5 billion each year and create 34,312 job-years of employment.
“Energy efficiency is an obvious job creator compared to other energy-related sectors because Australia has millions of buildings and pieces of energy-consuming equipment,” said Tristan Edis, Director – Advisory, Green Energy Markets.
“As Australia searches for solutions to drive a just transition away from polluting, expensive and unreliable energy sources, accelerating energy efficiency improvements is a smart and economical way to get the job done.”
The full report and executive summary are available at http://www.eec.org.au/energy-efficiency-employment-in-australia.
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