Victorian government should use energy efficiency investments to create net-zero energy homes

The Victorian government should go further than their new Budget announcements on energy efficiency and aim to create net-zero energy “all-electric” homes.

17 November 2020

The Victorian government should go further than their new Budget announcements on energy efficiency and aim to create net-zero energy “all-electric” homes.

The government has announced a suite of measures and an allocation of $797 million in the Budget to raise the energy efficiency of homes in Victoria.

Beyond Zero Emissions Research Lead, Michael Lord said, “The Victorian government shouldn’t just focus on raising the energy efficiency of homes, rather they should aim to create net-zero energy ‘all-electric’ homes.

“A net-zero energy home generates at least as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes, over the course of a year. It is all-electric, efficient to run and powered by renewable energy.

“Using electricity for heating, hot water and cooking is more efficient and cheaper to run compared with even the most efficient gas-powered appliances.

“The closer to net-zero energy we build new homes and retrofit existing homes, the lower the running costs for the Victorians living in these homes.”

Lord added the private sector had a role to play in achieving net-zero energy homes. “The government could do more to stimulate private investment in retrofitting millions of Victorian homes. $797 million is a good start but it will take billions – not millions – of dollars to roll out net-zero energy homes across the state.

“It should set up pilot schemes which would show how net-zero energy homes are possible in Victoria. Through these schemes we could start to develop the business models and systems of quality control needed for a state-wide rollout.

“Our Million Jobs Plan showed that a state-wide retrofit scheme could create 25,000 on-going jobs in Victoria.”

Beyond Zero Emissions, Climate-KIC Australia and Impact Investment Group are leading a consortium of organisations to develop a business model that can retrofit existing buildings to make affordable, healthy homes a reality for all Australians.

Jeremy Burke, Head of Product & Strategy at Impact Investment Group and member of the global trustee board for CDP Worldwide said, “Government can lead the way in catalysing activity in new green investment. Just as we’ve seen other countries lead in bringing down the cost of solar, offshore wind and low-energy light bulbs, the Victorian government can do the same for all-electric houses to the economic benefit of tenants and homeowners.”

“Investors are excited about the opportunity to use green investment to make social housing stock and private dwellings zero emissions, low cost and healthy.”

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