â€œThe announcement coincides with the release of a new report on household energy usage which forecasts an increase in energy usage of 56 per cent by 2020, emphasising the need for immediate, comprehensive and coordinated action on energy efficiencyâ€, Mr Garrett said.
â€œThe report, Energy Use in the Australian Residential Sector 1986-2020 identifies clear priorities and opportunities for tackling climate change in Australian households and communities and sets the framework for action.
â€œThe household sector is forecast to grow by almost 4 million homes and over 1,000 million square metres in combined floor space by 2020, creating increased demand for heating, cooling, lighting and electrical appliances.
â€œThis report estimates that one in four Australians buys a new television each year and that TVs are now the fourth-largest user of electricity, behind water heating, domestic refrigeration and lighting. Without Government action, television energy use is predicted to double between 2004 and 2014.
â€œIt is critical that we help households identify and invest in the latest cost-saving energy-efficient technologies in appliances, and energy and water saving design features.
â€œFor more than 11 years, the previous Government sat on its hands when it came to dealing with climate change and helping Australians take steps to reduce the size of their carbon footprint.
â€œSince coming to office, the Rudd Government has announced and funded $1 billion in measures including our Green Loans program, assistance for landlords to install insulation in rental homes and the expansion of labelling and new standards for energy-efficient appliances.
â€œOn World Environment Day we want to help all Australians â€˜kick the carbon habitâ€™.â€
Details of the new measures:
Television and other electrical appliance labelling
The Rudd Labor Government was elected with a commitment to deliver on a 10-star appliance rating scheme. These new appliance labels, which will be in phased in over the next 12 months, will help consumers identify super efficient appliances â€“ like clothes dryers, washing machines and dishwashers.
The voluntary television energy label is similar to the energy label used on fridges, washing machines, clothes dryers and air conditioners, helping consumers save energy, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This new voluntary scheme will come into effect within the next six months, backed by a proposal to introduce mandatory labelling and standards next year. Combined with the acceleration and expansion of minimum greenhouse and energy performance standards, and the introduction of new 10-star labels, these measures will help consumers save energy and provide manufacturers with recognition for energy-efficient innovations.
Your Home Renovatorâ€™s Guide
The Rudd Government wants to make it easier for people to access information on ways to â€˜green-upâ€™ their homes, with measures announced in the Budget like our new one-stop web portal to provide consumers with a single window to all federal, state and local government environmental programs for sustainability at home.
The Your Home Renovators Guide, was developed in partnership with the Victorian Building Commission, Sustainability Victoria, other state Governments, the Centre for Design at RMIT and the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS. Every page of this guide provides tips to help home owners save money, and make their homes healthy and comfortable and more environmentally friendly from the front door to the backyard.
There are 4.2 million homes in Australia that are over 20 years old so the Your Home Renovatorâ€™s Guide has the potential to inform a large portion of the Australian community now and in the future, helping drive down energy usage.
Lighting is an area where we can make quick, simple cuts in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. More efficient lights like compact fluorescent lamps are already available on the market and are an easy, cleaner alternative to the traditional incandescent globe.
The Rudd Labor Government and Lighting Council Australia have joined forces to fast track the phase out of inefficient light bulbs in Australia, bringing forward an import ban to November this year. The 12-month acceleration of the four-year phase out, beginning with the introduction of a ban on imported incandescent lamps from this year, will result in earlier cuts to greenhouse emissions of more than four million tonnes per year.
Retailers will then have a further 12 months to sell existing supplies before any sort of retail ban comes into effect.