In a short-sighted move that will mean a boost to privately owned energy companies at the expense of Victorian households, the Napthine Government has decided to scrap the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET).
The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) believes the move is in response to pressure from energy companies, particularly large energy generators who are losing profits as household energy efficiency improves.
VEET is a scheme to make household energy efficiency more affordable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging investment and employment in businesses supplying energy-efficient goods and services.
Expanding the VEET had been the government’s most successful policy to help households manage their energy costs.
Soon after taking office, the Napthine Government increased the scheme, providing assistance in particular to disadvantaged households. As well as directly helping these households with lower energy bills, it placed downward pressure on energy prices for all Victorian consumers.
Craig Memery, the ATA’s energy policy advocate, said the program had been so successful that energy generators had become increasingly concerned about the impacts on their profit margins.
“The VEET has been effectively helping households reduce their energy use in the face of escalating energy costs,” Mr Memery said. “While there’s room for improvement of the scheme, it should be maintained.”
“With the federal budget hitting households hard, Victorians were looking to their state to help them manage their escalating energy costs. The clear message from the Napthine Government is ‘We don’t care either – you’re on your own’.
“Removing the VEET scheme is not just a backward step for household energy affordability, but a backward leap for common sense.”
The ATA is Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable living.
For more information on the VEET program closure go to the VEET website.