Over 74,000 Canberra households and businesses have saved over $400 million since the EEIS was established in 2013, including $70 million saved off the energy bills of low-income households. Average weekly savings are $5.80 for participating households and $100 for participating businesses.
The existing scheme has assisted more than 45% of Canberra households, including 19,000 low income priority households and 16,000 rental properties.
The Scheme has also achieved lifetime emission reductions of around 500,000 t CO2-e, equivalent to taking approximately 165,000 cars off Canberra roads for a year.
In January, Minister Rattenbury announced that the Scheme would be extended from 2020 to 2030 and expanded to include several new programs.
Today, Minister Rattenbury announced a range of additional changes to the Scheme, including:
Further support to transition away from gas, a fossil fuel
As the ACT moves to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2020, and zero net emissions by 2045 at the latest, the Government is also making the important transition away from gas – a polluting fossil fuel.
As part of this, the EEIS program will be expanded to incentivise a transition from natural gas to efficient electric heating and hot water systems. New rebates of up to $5,000 are now being offered by ActewAGL through the EEIS to encourage households to replace their central ducted gas heater with more efficient central electric reverse cycle air conditioner.
Extra support for low income households
As part of the existing Scheme, electricity retailers must ensure that at least 1 in 5 Canberra households taking part are low-income households. As a result, the EEIS has so far supported some 19,000 low income priority households and 16,000 rental properties to achieve greater energy efficiency.
This will now be increased to almost 1 in 3 households (30%) in 2020, ensuring that around 400 additional low-income households will benefit from energy efficiency measures.
Tackling transport emissions
As transport emissions will make up around 60% of the ACT’s overall emissions in 2020, the Scheme will also be extended to enable the Government to explore innovative initiatives in the transport sector in the future, such as incentives for zero emissions vehicles.
Support for residential insulation
It is estimated that 55% of Canberra households have inadequate ceiling insulation. This means these households use much more energy than is needed to heat and cool their homes.
New energy efficiency activities, such as residential insulation and business heating and cooling will also be introduced in the scheme to expand the options available for electricity retailers to offer to ACT’s households and businesses.
The new insulation activities are designed to be safe and effective and are closely aligned with similar programs in other jurisdictions. There has been extensive consultation with industry and codes of practice developed to ensure it is done safely, such as requiring it to be delivered by licensed tradespeople and accredited insulation installers.