Australia needs to focus on much greater energy efficiency in its move towards a clean energy future, not coal or gas, says the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).
The ATA welcomes Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s renewed focus on energy costs for Australians, but is disappointed at his solutions in “clean” coal power generation and more unconventional gas or “fracking”.
Governments need to be investing in making Australian homes more energy efficient, saving households money and lowering emissions.
“The average Australian home spends between $2500-$3500 per year on electricity and gas,” Damien Moyse, the ATA’s policy and research manager, said.
“But up to $650 a year can be saved on bills with simple, low-cost energy efficiency measures such as insulation, sealing gaps, low-flow showerheads, efficient water heating and lighting,” Mr Moyse said.
“Once solar power is added into the mix and homes are transitioned away from gas, electricity bills can easily be halved with the potential to reduce them to around $1000 a year.
“Spending money on sustainable home design and features makes good economic sense. Sealing gaps, shading windows and insulation require relatively little spending that will pay off in lower energy bills for years to come.”
Mr Moyse said many homes were still below 2 stars in energy efficiency, forcing occupants to spend large amounts of money on heating or cooling.
“There is just no reason to be looking at more coal or gas when so much needs to be done to improve the design and efficiency of Australian homes,” Mr Moyse said.
“If the Prime Minister was serious about cutting energy bills for ordinary Australians, his government would commit to a program of raising homes to an average of 5 or 6 stars across the country.”