Voters want governments to make energy efficiency a top priority

16 April 2018

Read the report here

Australians want governments to do more to support energy efficiency to help cut energy bills for households and businesses.

As Energy Ministers prepare to meet to discuss the National Energy Guarantee, a YouGov Galaxy survey has shown that ‘investing in energy efficiency’ is the most popular policy that governments can introduce.

ACOSS, the Property Council of Australia and the Energy Efficiency Council commissioned YouGov Galaxy to survey 1,000 Australians from across the country.

The survey found that:

  • 90 per cent of voters think that it is important or very important that governments help reduce households’ and businesses’ energy bills
  • Energy efficiency was the most popular energy policy option:
    • 88 per cent of voters support government investment in energy efficiency, and just 5 per cent oppose it, giving a net support of 83 per cent.
    • Voters were more divided on whether government should invest in new coal-fired generators, with just 4 per cent net support, and
    • More voters opposed than supported reducing incentives for renewable energy and energy storage, with 16 per cent net opposition.
  • Voters supported a wide range of specific energy efficiency policies, including:
    • 79 per cent support for incentives to upgrade commercial buildings
    • 80 per cent support for minimum standards for rental homes to ensure that they are safe, comfortable and have low energy bills, and
    • 92 per cent support for upgrading the energy efficiency of public buildings such as schools and hospitals.

ACOSS CEO, Cassandra Goldie said:

“Efforts to improve energy efficiency for low-income and disadvantaged households can mean that people on low incomes are not forced to choose between putting food on the table or heating their homes in the coming winter months.

“Upgrading an existing home from the equivalent of 2 stars to 5 stars can save a household $600 a year. Mandating energy efficient standards for rental properties and investing in energy efficiency measures for low-income households, will make a huge difference to energy stress, health and wellbeing.”

Property Council of Australia Chief Executive, Ken Morrison, said:

“This is a wake-up call for Governments to move beyond the supply side of the energy debate. With the National Energy Guarantee now on the table, attention must also be given to driving down demand – because the cheapest energy is energy we don’t use.

“This survey shows the community recognises the benefits of energy efficiency and strongly supports common sense action to reduce their bills. With both business and the community on board, we now need governments to step up and show leadership on energy efficiency.”

Energy Efficiency Council CEO, Luke Menzel, said:

“We need to take action to fix up energy supply, but the fastest, cheapest way to reduce energy bills is through energy efficiency. Voters already know this – they want governments to act now on energy efficiency.”

Read the report here