Victoria Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien
Coalition Government Consults On Ceiling Insulation Savings Under Energy Saver Incentive
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O’Brien today released an issues paper to help households and industry have their say on the possible provision of incentives for the installation of ceiling insulation under Victoria’s Energy Saver Incentive (ESI) scheme.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to easing cost of living pressures and taking practical steps to protect the environment. The Energy Saver Incentive scheme delivers on both those objectives.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Under the Energy Saver Incentive, energy retailers and other businesses can offer Victorian households free or discounted installation of energy efficient products such as lighting, shower heads, heating and hot water systems, high efficiency refrigeration, air conditioning, TVs, pool pumps and stand-by power controllers.
Mr. O’Brien said insulation was one of the best ways for households to use less energy and save on their energy bills when prices are rising, but any improved scheme needed to earn the public’s confidence.
“Up to half the energy used to heat or cool homes can be lost without insulation.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“The Federal Government’s mismanagement of its home insulation scheme had disastrous consequences, resulting in a loss of confidence in the installation and a flow on effect for local manufacturers and suppliers.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“We have a responsibility to households that are struggling with their energy bills to find a responsible way to make the installation of ceiling insulation as safe and affordable as possible.”
“The Coalition Government wants to hear what Victorians think about a suite of proposed safeguards to responsibly deliver the subsidised installation of ceiling insulation under the Energy Saver Incentive scheme.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“The Coalition Government will only proceed with including ceiling insulation in the scheme if the community can be assured that strong safeguards are in place, and that the industry will act responsibly.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“Analysis by the Department of Primary Industries estimates that the installation of ceiling insulation can save up to 45 % a year on utility bills.”
The Coalition Government has released an issues paper by the Department of Primary Industries which includes a review undertaken by Futura Consulting to independently assess the potential risks highlighted by the Commonwealth’s scheme and make recommendations to address these risks under a Victorian scheme.
“The issues paper we are releasing for consultation today sets out the necessary safeguards for a well run scheme that gives households an additional incentive to insulate their homes while ensuring the highest safety standards are met.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“The Coalition Government will be guided by the community’s response, and I invite all interested parties to make a submission.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Recommendations contained in the issues paper include:
- Setting mandatory training and experience requirements for installers;
- Introducing mandatory inspections after installation;
- Strengthening the audit and compliance powers of the ESI scheme regulator;
- Introducing procedures for risk assessments ahead of installation
The release of the consultation paper was welcomed by Carolyn Atkins, Acting CEO of the Victorian Council of Social Service, who said that many households could benefit from a responsibly managed scheme to help lower their energy bills.
“Rising energy costs are a significant issue for many people in the community and schemes such as this especially when implemented alongside other measures to help vulnerable households also benefit from them help people stay warm in winter and cool in summer: improving their health, reducing their energy consumption, and saving money in the long run.” Ms. Atkins said.