(Australian Associated Press)
Australian households and businesses could save more than $7 billion a year in total on power bills if energy efficiency is improved.
An Energy Efficiency Council report released on Wednesday has also found Australia could meet half of its commitment to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030 if international efficiency practices are adopted.
Successful overseas policies include strengthening energy efficiency standards for appliances, homes and cars, ensuring energy markets work in the consumers’ interests and helping businesses cut their bills.
Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel says energy efficiency is the best tool to reduce power bills, improve energy security and address climate change.
“Australia is failing to grasp this golden opportunity – it’s like we’re walking past $100 bills that are just lying on the ground,” he said.
“Australian governments are at the back of the pack on energy efficiency.”
In Germany, energy efficiency has cut the average household energy bill by 30 per cent, saving about $790 a year, he said.
In California, 300,000 jobs have been created in energy efficiency, while China saved huge amounts of energy in 2017, avoiding the need for scores of coal-fired power.
“If Australia replicated best practice from places like the United States, Germany, Japan and China it would be a game changer for energy affordability and the economy,” Mr Menzel said.