The Prime Minister’s Task Group on Energy Efficiency, commissioned by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, has been released. The report says that energy efficiency is an untapped resource for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and tha Australia should aim for a 30 per cent reduction in energy intensity by 2020.
The report says that Australia has so far not consciously or explicitly targeted world best practice and that its rate of improvement lags behind much of the rest of the world.
The report suggests many specific proposals for improving energy efficiency, ranging from an emissions target for the commonwealth vehicle fleet, zero emission building standards, appliance efficiency standards and promotion of electric vehicles. However, the report emphasises that Australia needs a carbon price to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets.
The report estimates that a national energy savings scheme would cut average household power bills by between $87 and $180 a year.
Greens deputy leader Christine Milne said that "Energy efficiency is such a no-brainer that it is baffling that successive governments have allowed Australia to fall so far behind the world. It’s time to catch up,"