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Energy productivity progress

21Feb

Energy productivity progress

Topic: E3 General

NEPP Annual Report released

In December 2016, the COAG Energy Council published its first National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP) Annual Report, which shows that Australia is well on its way to meeting its target of a 40 per cent improvement in energy productivity by 2030. The Annual Report takes stock of progress across the NEPP’s broad work plan, which consists of energy efficiency measures (including the Equipment Energy Efficiency program) and energy market reforms.

Progress includes the broadening of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s mandate to also support innovation in energy efficiency and productivity, and the expansion of the Commercial Building Disclosure program. The report also identifies achievements we can expect over the next 12 months, including the introduction of cost reflective pricing which aims to provide consumers a much wider range of electricity tariffs to choose from and better incentives to save energy at costly peak times.

The NEPP is a response to a rapidly changing energy market. The COAG Energy Council recognised that managing this change required a new and coordinated approach to energy policy with improving Australia’s energy productivity at the forefront of this focus. By bringing together reforms across energy markets, energy efficiency and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the NEPP facilitates effective planning to reduce emissions at least cost.

Since the NEPP’s release in December 2015, many NEPP measures have made significant progress, including:

  • From 1 July 2017, the threshold of the Commercial Building Disclosure program will be lowered to 1,000 square metres, resulting in an additional 1,000 commercial buildings having their energy efficiency disclosed when being sold or leased. This creates a more informed commercial property market. It encourages companies to make decisions to lease energy efficient buildings that cost less to run, allowing them to reinvest energy savings into their business.
  • Opportunities to strengthen and harmonise energy performance standards have been highlighted in several of the sectoral roadmaps developed as part of the industry-led Doubling Australia’s Energy Productivity program. Sectors include manufacturing, agriculture, mining, built environment and passenger transport sectors.
  • COAG will deliver targeted industry training and tools to support improved compliance with the energy performance requirements of the National Construction Code, and ensure residential buildings are being built to need less energy for heating and cooling.

Further NEPP progress is expected in 2017, including:

  • The CSIRO’s continuing work with stakeholders to develop the $6 million Energy Use Data Model.  In 2017, the CSIRO will develop a pilot system for use by industry, government and researchers to support better energy forecasting and more informed energy policies. This will include new survey data linking smart meter data to detailed drivers of energy use, such as household demographics and appliances.
  • The Australian Government is expected to consider a new policy to improve energy productivity in its operations mid-2017.

The NEPP Annual Report can be viewed on the COAG Energy Council website here.