A key feature of a sustainable economy is making the most of renewable energy resources
Currently, Victoria produces 12% of its energy from sustainable sources.
The Government is rebuilding Victoria's reputation for renewable energy with its Renewable Energy Roadmap.
The Roadmap outlines a set of initiatives aimed at accelerating the development of renewable energy projects in Victoria. It has been developed in partnership with key energy sector stakeholders, including industry, consumer groups and environment groups.
The Roadmap identifies the following four priority areas:
Public consultation on the Roadmap will feed into the development of the Victorian Renewable Energy Action Plan, which will set long-term actions to drive renewable energy investment in our state.
In June 2015, the Victorian Government released the Government's Energy Efficiency and Productivity Statement: Saving energy, growing jobs.
The Statement shows how we will deliver an energy efficient and productive economy for Victoria.
All Victorians stand to benefit: household energy users, business owners, energy product manufacturers or suppliers, property owners and builders, local governments and community organisations.
These benefits include more jobs, higher economic productivity, improved working conditions, health improvements, and savings to both household and public budgets.
The Statement presents six priorities for action:
The strengthening of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) will deliver cuts to household energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes.
The VEET scheme helps households and businesses save money by improving their energy efficiency. The scheme reduces greenhouse gas emissions through supporting energy saving activities.
The scheme supports more than 2,000 jobs across Victoria and has helped thousands of households and businesses reduce their energy costs.
It's now easier for Victorian businesses to upgrade their buildings to be more energy efficient and sustainable, with new laws that enable businesses to use Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs).
EUAs are a council-based financing mechanism to help businesses access funding for building works to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and cut water use.
EUAs were previously only available for upgrades to buildings in the City of Melbourne, through the City of Melbourne Act 2001.
By amending the Local Government Act (1989), the Victorian Government expanded the existing scheme, giving all Victorian councils the option of offering EUAs.
Under an EUA, lenders provide finance to a building owner for environmental upgrades, with the local council then collecting the repayments through its rates system and passing them on to the lender.
Use of the council rates system means that loans are more secure, allowing lenders to offer more competitive loan terms.
For more information on EUAs, click here
In 2009, the Victorian Government conducted an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project, which collected data from electricity and gas distributors to build a picture of residential energy consumption for each of the state's local government areas.
Since that initial experimental project, Victoria has rolled out 'smart meters' to all households and businesses. This technology helps Victorians to operate a more energy aware (and efficient) household or business by providing real-time energy use data.
For more information on smart meters click here
To help reduce the rate and impact of climate change, many of Victoria's local governments are working to reduce their energy use and corresponding emissions.
Councils are conscious of the need to use resources efficiently and effectively, while providing services in a way that best meets the needs of the local community. In doing so, councils take into consideration the social, economic and environmental viability and sustainability of their municipalities.
Many Victorian councils have begun initiatives to reduce emissions from day-to-day operations through energy efficiency measures, the use of renewable energy projects and/or co-generation systems.
Effective strategies include the use of more fuel efficient vehicles and smarter driving initiatives, heating and cooling improvements of council buildings, sustainable design standards for new council buildings, and installation of energy efficient public lighting (e.g. street lights).
Some councils also work closely with their local communities to encourage household and business emission reductions, often through partnerships, incentive programs for improved energy efficiency practices, and education programs to help change behaviour.
Building developments can also be influenced through the promotion of environmentally sustainable design principles to reduce heating and cooling demands (e.g. orientation of buildings, installation of solar PV panels, shading around buildings).
To view state government funded climate change projects delivered in partnership with local councils, click here
This innovative approach by Darebin City Council offers low income householders the opportunity of acquiring a solar panel system. Repayment levels are structured so that most participants save more each year on their electricity bills than they repay annually for the systems. This improves the financial and energy security for low income households.
For more information click here
The Regional Bioenergy Project is a commercial bioenergy demonstration plant at the Beaufort Hospital. In its first year of operation the bioenergy plant achieved a $27,000 saving on energy costs and a 56 tonne reduction in carbon emissions.
The Bendigo Sustainability Group and the City of Greater Bendigo have co-developed a community owned solar PV project, which has resulted in a 20kW solar PV system being installed on the Goldfields Library in Bendigo.
The Rural City of Wangaratta are reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions at their indoor sports and aquatic centre with the installation of a cogeneration system.