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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

18 October 2002

Green Plumbers Leading Climate Change Action


Federal Member for Murray and Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, today welcomed 110 delegates to Shepparton where she opened the Australian Plumbing Conference for Sustainability - Plumbers Go Green.

Plumbers Go Green is an initiative of the Master Plumbers and Mechanicals Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) and RMIT University. It encourages plumbers to take the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the workplace and into the homes of their customers.

"Climate change is not just an issue for big business, it is an issue for every Australian household, that on average emit 15 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year", Dr Stone said.

"Plumbers have a critical role to play in relation to household greenhouse emissions and it is encouraging to see a forum that recognises the contribution plumbers can make to the sustainability agenda".

"Household greenhouse emissions result from the choices we make in relation to using hot water, heating and cooling for our houses and personal transportation.

"Plumbers and installers play an important advisory role to consumers seeking to purchase a whole range of household items, for instance new hot water systems.

Green Plumbers, is the result of a $100 000 grant and partnership with the Australian Greenhouse Office and is designed to train plumbers in how to advise their customers about the most energy efficient heating and cooling appliances and hot water products.

Piloted in Victoria the program has achieved great results with overwhelming interest from plumbers, manufacturers, local government and other building related industries.

Some 300 plumbers have been accredited through the Victorian project. They will install at least 2500 more efficient hot water systems each year and influence retrofit and heating decisions.

"Green Plumbers is a great example of the results that are possible through partnerships to tackle greenhouse gas emissions", Dr Stone said.

The Green Plumbers project was awarded a 2001 Energy Smart Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Leadership category.

The Howard Government has also facilitated increased uptake of solar hot water heaters through its Mandatory Renewable Energy target by offering incentives for the installation of eligible solar water heaters.

In 2001, around 180 000 Renewable Energy Certificates were generated through MRET which is equivalent to installation of around 8 000 solar water heaters.

"I hope that delegates at Plumbers Go Green enjoy their time in the Goulburn Valley and take away new skills that will lead to a more sustainable building industry", Dr Stone said.

Contacts:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468

Commonwealth of Australia