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The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

National Strategy on Energy Efficiency

Joint Media Release
2 July 2009

Today the Council of Australian Governments signed up to an ambitious roadmap to accelerate action on energy efficiency and assist Australia's transition to a low carbon economy.

The National Strategy on Energy Efficiency will help Australian households and businesses cut their energy and fuel bills while reducing their carbon footprint.

For example, measures to improve the energy efficiency of appliances, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, are expected to reduce carbon pollution by 19.5 million tonnes per year by 2020, the equivalent of removing over 4.8 million cars from our roads permanently.

For too long energy efficiency policy in Australia has been fragmented and ad-hoc, resulting in a failure to harness clear opportunities for cost-effective energy efficiency gains at home and in the workplace.

The National Strategy on Energy Efficiency will turn around this legacy, putting in place a nationally consistent approach to reduce red tape and help households and businesses invest in the latest cost-cutting technologies.

The agreement locks in a comprehensive ten-year work-plan to co- ordinate action nationally and maximise cost-effective energy efficiency gains, including:

There was also agreement to undertake a detailed regulatory assessment of introducing CO2 emissions standards for new light vehicles, which has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by around 30 per cent, based on overseas studies.

The regulatory assessment will include consideration of both voluntary and mandatory options and the complementarity of measures against the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. It will involve industry and consumer consultation.

The path agreed to today will position energy efficiency alongside the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme as a key plank in Australia's efforts to combat climate change.

Energy efficiency is the low-hanging fruit of greenhouse gas abatement, with analysis from the International Energy Agency indicating cost-effective energy efficiency improvements could provide savings equivalent to one-fifth of projected global energy-related emissions in 2030.

Through the combination of incentives, consumer and business education and carefully targeted regulation, the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency will fundamentally change the policy settings for energy efficiency across Australia.

The agreement is supported by the investment of $88 million for energy efficiency measures across jurisdictions.

Commonwealth of Australia