In December 2015, the Australian COAG Energy Council launched a new National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP) to meet a commitment to an energy productivity target of 40 per cent improvement between 2015 and 2030.
The NEPP is expected to contribute more than a quarter of the savings required to meet Australia’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. The NEPP will complement existing policies such as the Emissions Reduction Fund and will aim to avoid placing additional burdens on business.
The NEPP covers all energy use, including electricity, gas and transport fuels, and incorporates:
Energy market reforms to promote consumer choice and increase competition and innovation in the energy market;
Energy efficiency measures that support better energy use in buildings, equipment and vehicles.
The NEPP will include both existing and new initiatives that support:
More productive consumer choices when selecting energy services through, for example, cost-reflective prices, smart meters and access to information, and labels;
More productive energy services through innovation and competition , such as reducing barriers to entry in the market for new technologies and service options, and through more efficient minimum standards for equipment, appliances and buildings.
Measures to improve energy productivity include traditional energy efficiency measures, but also wider economic reforms promoting efficient energy use decisions and markets, such as efficient pricing, services competition and fuel switching.
Current research suggests that the target of 40 per cent improvement in Australia’s energy productivity between 2015-2030 can be met by implementing financially attractive end-use energy efficiency initiatives alone. There are particularly cost effective opportunities to improve energy productivity in the transport, manufacturing, buildings sectors.
In order to meet Australia’s proposed 40 per cent by 2030 energy productivity target, Australia must increase its annual productivity improvement from 1.5 to 2.3 per cent per annum. This target has been designed to be large enough to promote real change while still being achievable.