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Victorian efficiency opt-in a win for industry

"Last week the Victorian Government announced, after extensive advocacy by Ai Group on members' behalf, that the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target would include large energy users on an opt-in basis. In brief, this means that large users who consider they have worthwhile energy efficiency opportunities will be able to join the scheme, while others will remain exempt," Ai Group Victorian Branch Head, Tim Piper, said today.

"The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target requires energy retailers to achieve emissions reduction targets by helping energy users improve their efficiency. The scheme has recently expanded to support a range of energy-saving activities relevant to industry, including a methodology where a business can design an efficiency project tailored to its own circumstances and be credited on the basis of an engineering assessment of project savings. The expansion will make the VEET relevant to many more businesses.

"While the VEET has overall benefits, which companies should be conscious of, supporting efficiency projects also has costs which energy retailers pass through to their customers. For years, Ai Group has strongly argued the case that industry should bear the costs only where it can share in the benefits. We have also provided considerable analysis and advice to underpin a practical way forward and offer the best advice to Government. The Minister recognised and generally accepted our views some time ago. Without Ai Group's efforts and the Minister's pragmatism this decision may not have been reached.

"From 1 August 2017, sites that use more than 100 terajoules of energy or more each year will be exempt from the costs of the VEET unless they choose to opt in. If they do so, they will be allowed to receive VEET support for their efficiency projects, but will also be required to share in the costs of the scheme.

"More information is available here, and the VEET website will publish further details of the exemption and how to participate in the scheme if you want to. With electricity and gas prices at painfully high levels, there has never been a better time to use energy more productively," Mr Piper said.

Further comment: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301