Posted on 27. Jun, 2012 in Greening Victoria

Baillieu Government inaction is costing some families hundreds of dollars each year in higher energy bills, Shadow Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said today.

The Baillieu Government has failed to follow through on a commitment, given at a ministerial council meeting 19 months ago, to phase out old and inefficient water heaters in existing homes.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the Energy Minister Michael O’Brien had failed to act on his own plan to encourage and support Victorian households to become more energy and water efficient.

“Mr O’Brien has failed Victorian families who are still using old, out-of-date water heaters – and who are paying through the nose to do so,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“If he had acted on his own plan, Mr O’Brien should have introduced regulations to ensure that an electric hot water system is replaced with a more efficient system when it reaches the end of its life.

“The Resource Smart website shows that in the year to June 2012, a household that had replaced its old electric hot water heater with a solar water system would have cut 61 per cent off their hot water bill.

“By failing to act to phase out old heating systems, Mr Baillieu and Mr O’Brien have effectively cost families between $180 and $660 each year, as shown by research commissioned by Victorian welfare agencies in the 2010 ‘One Million Homes’ report.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the Minister knew what the savings were, but had failed to act for nearly 19 months.

“Mr O’Brien should be helping lower the cost of living for families. Instead he has done nothing, she said.

“Labor led the way on encouraging homes and businesses to become more energy efficient, but Mr O’Brien’s inaction has put an end to a decade’s progress.

“Renters in particular are powerless because they have no choice but to use expensive inefficient heating that drives up their water and energy bills.

“There is nothing stopping the Baillieu Government delivering on its commitment – Queensland and South Australia are already years ahead of Victoria, while Western Australia is currently drafting their regulations.

“For every day the Baillieu Government fails to act, families are being locked into years of higher electricity and water bills.”


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