Improving the energy efficiency of Australian homes and businesses could slash $7.7 billion a year off energy bills and create the equivalent of 120,000 full time jobs, a new report has found.
The report, Energy Efficiency Employment in Australia, found that better energy efficiency would cut household gas use by 640 million gigajoules over a decade; the equivalent of a huge gas field.
Energy Efficiency Council head of policy Rob Murray-Leach said energy efficiency is a huge opportunity.
“We can cut households’ and businesses’ energy bills by $7.7 billion a year.
Improving energy efficiency will also create thousands of jobs across the economy, making Australia cleaner, fairer and more affordable,” he said,
Energy Savings Industry Association president Rod Woolley said energy efficiency schemes at the state level have been effective in helping homes and businesses cut energy bills and driving investment and innovation in clean technology.
“These schemes must be scaled up and implemented nationwide to maximise their benefits for homes, business, and industry; failure to do so is leaving money on the table,” he said.
The report noted that energy efficiency is already Australia’s largest ‘energy employer’, employing 25 per cent more people than coal mining.
About 500,000 electricians, architects and engineers spend some of their time working on energy efficiency, which adds up to 59,000 full-time jobs in the sector.
Green Energy Markets director Tristan Edis said energy efficiency is an obvious job creator compared to other energy-related sectors because Australia has millions of buildings and pieces of energy-consuming equipment.
“As Australia searches for solutions to drive a just transition away from polluting, expensive and unreliable energy sources, accelerating energy efficiency improvements is a smart and economical way to get the job done,” said Edis.
The report was commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Council and the Energy Savings Industry Association, and written by Green Energy Markets.