Greg Combet

Australia’s Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister, Greg Combet, has announced that $340 million is to be spent on new energy efficiency programmes for business, local government and communities, ahead of the introduction of its carbon tax in July.

The money will fund three programmes:

  • $200 million for councils, not-for-profit and community groups for efficiency upgrades to infrastructure, including council buildings, stadiums, education facilities, town hall and nursing homes;
  • $100 million to show low-income households how to use energy more smartly; and
  • $40 million to provide information and advice to small and medium-sized businesses and community groups.

At the same time, the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme has been expanded to include the business sector. Upgrades to lighting, air conditioning, hot water services and some electrical equipment will be subsidised through the scheme, reducing or even eliminating the payback period for eligible improvements.