As energy efficiency is gaining momentum as a key resource for economic and social development across all economies, understanding what the real value energy efficiency brings to the table is increasingly important.
The multiple benefits approach to energy efficiency policy seeks to expand the perspective of energy efficiency beyond the traditional measures of reduced energy demand and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by identifying and measuring its impacts across many different spheres.
Below we have outlined some of the key benefits energy efficiency can bring to the Australian community and economy to assist with the rising pressures of living costs.
Reduction in energy bills
- We as Australians live in homes that are too cold in winter and too hot in summer. This means residents are reliant on large amounts of heating and cooling to stay comfortable, resulting in exorbitant and increasingly unaffordable energy bills.
- Australians have some of the most expensive energy bills in the world, so increasing energy efficiency means reducing this cost for all.
Increasing resilience of the electricity system
- Australian homes accounts for around 22.8% of the country’s total electricity demand – and even more in peak periods such as heatwaves.
- Energy efficiency measures assist with reducing power demand, thus lowering prices for all and reducing the risk of blackouts at peak times, such as during a heatwave.
Improving social equity and reducing homelessness
- High energy bills due to poor energy efficiency in the home can contribute to cost of living pressures and an increased risk of homelessness.
- People on low incomes, renters, and social housing tenants are more likely to live in poor-quality housing and rely on inefficient appliances that are cheap to buy, but expensive to run.
- Strategic investment in energy efficiency for social and low-income housing can reduce energy poverty, relieving pressure on individuals as well as the social support systems they may rely on.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Homes contribute more than 10.1% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. This residential energy consumption has remained stagnant for the past two decades, lagging behind the rest of the world.
- Energy efficiency is widely recognized as one of the easiest, cheapest, and fastest ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
From saving money to saving the planet, energy efficiency in the home is a win-win for all involved.