The former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd established a Task Group on Energy Efficiency to advise the Australian Government, by mid-2010, on options to improve Australia’s energy efficiency by 2020.
What did the Task Group recommend?
The Task Group’s terms of reference were explicit in focusing on the need to deliver a step-change improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. In order to be at the forefront of OECD energy efficiency improvement Australia will need to take dramatic and sustained action.
Realising a step change will require:
- increased awareness of, and attention to, improved energy efficiency
- eliminating or reducing the effect of a range of barriers that block or discourage worthwhile action, including moving towards full energy pricing through the introduction of a broad-based carbon price.
Achieving a step change in energy efficiency improvement is not a simple task; it is likely to take a sustained commitment over the next decade. Australians will need to make choices on investment in energy and its use. Ideally energy efficiency measures should:
- directly target the issue that needs to be addressed (for example, economy-wide market failures suggest an economy-wide policy response)
- be simple to understand and easy to access
- be part of a national, coordinated framework that avoids duplication, with responsibilities allocated to the level of government best placed to deliver the policy
- be fair and equitable across income groups and economic sectors, in both impacts and benefits
- minimise the level of risk or uncertainty faced by individuals, businesses and governments, and allocate risk to those best placed to manage it, while maintaining the freedoms that people currently enjoy
- maximise use of existing mechanisms and processes to avoid unnecessary costs of adjustment
- be flexible enough to allow new technologies and solutions to develop (measures should be broad based and technology/provider neutral wherever possible).