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25 June 2009
Environment Minister Peter Garrett met with the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Nobuo Tanaka, in Paris on Friday, putting forward Australia's ambitious energy efficiency agenda.
"Australia has a comprehensive set of energy efficiency initiatives, including legislation, incentives and support for smarter technologies, which focuses on our buildings, lighting, appliances and equipment, and industry," said Minister Garrett.
"By the end of this year alone we will have commenced the most ambitious offer of energy efficiency incentives ever seen in Australia through the $4 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package, introduced mandatory energy labelling for televisions and phased out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs.
"In 2010, we will make changes to energy efficiency requirements for new buildings through the Building Code of Australia, start to phase in disclosure of energy performance for commercial buildings, raise energy efficiency standards for whitegoods currently being labelled, and implement minimum energy performance standards for swimming pool systems, set top boxes and computers.
"We know that energy efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to lower our emissions. Australia's appliance and equipment energy efficiency initiatives including labelling and regulated minimum energy performance standards alone are estimated to deliver energy savings of 32,000 gigawatt hours per year by 2020, equivalent to 14 per cent of Australia's electricity use in 2006-07.
"Each of these initiatives will continue to ramp up over coming years, with continuous improvement in standards for goods and buildings, and better information to help us all make smarter decisions about the products we use.
"My meeting with the International Energy Agency has also given me an opportunity to discuss the Australian Government's plan to invest $100 million into the large-scale trial of smart grid technology in an Australia through the National Energy Efficiency Initiative."
As a result of this meeting, the Minister has announced that the Government will build upon its active collaboration with the International Energy Agency using extensive IEA research, data collection and analysis on appliances, energy use and supply to help inform the implementation of the Government's agenda.
"Closer collaboration with the International Energy Agency will help ensure Australia's energy efficiency efforts are international best practice and give us the opportunity to play our part in on an international stage," added Minister Garrett.
More information on the Australian Government's energy efficiency agenda is available at www.environment.gov.au/settlements/energyefficiency/index.html