On 17 October 2017 the Australian Government released preliminary details of its proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG).
The Energy Efficiency Council, Australia’s peak body for energy efficiency experts, welcomed the Australian Government’s focus on addressing both reliability and emissions through the NEG. However, the council noted that the NEG on it’s own won’t be enough to deliver secure, affordable energy.
“We still need to examine the details of the new NEG. If it provides more certainty to the energy industry, that will be welcome. However, it has to be part of a wider plan to improve Australia’s energy system,” says Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC).
“The NEG needs to be complemented by serious action on energy efficiency to deliver the affordable, reliable, clean energy that Australians deserve,” he says.
A new report by the world’s most respected body on energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA), found that energy efficiency is:
- Critical to energy affordability. In most developed countries, recent improvements in energy efficiency have reduced households’ energy bills by 10 to 30 percent.
- Fundamental to energy security. Without aggressive action on energy efficiency, both the UK and France would have failed to meet their gas security targets.
- The single most important action to reduce emissions. The IEA found that energy efficiency was responsible for over 75 percent of global emission reductions since 2014.
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are the product of the amount of electricity Australians consume and the ‘emissions intensity’ of that electricity. While the NEG will reduce the emissions intensity of electricity supply, it won’t help Australian businesses and households to use energy more efficiently.
The EEC strongly supports the NEG’s inclusion of ‘demand response’ as a mechanism for providing dispatchable power.
“As Alan Finkel noted, voluntary ‘demand response’ has the potential to make our energy system far more reliable and affordable,” says Menzel.
“We look forward to working with the Government on the design of the NEG, but it’s essential that its complemented with strong action on energy efficiency,” he says.
For more information visit the EEC website.