Energy efficiency program axed in budget review

energyTHE Federal Government’s latest budget review has revealed it will cease funding a long-running energy efficiency program from next July.
The Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program – a government initiative to encourage large businesses to increase their energy efficiency – will end next year as Treasurer Joe Hockey estimated the federal budget would blowout to $47 billion by June.
The EEO program is currently mandatory for organisations that use more than 0.5 petajoules of energy per year, and is voluntary for organisations that use less.
Energy Efficiency Council chief executive Rob Murray-Leach told AAP that members were extremely unhappy with the news.
“The government haven’t scrapped the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program because it’s legislated, but they’ve cut funding to administer the program after June 2014,” he said.
“People are confused and very, very angry.”
The program website stated it would continue in its current form until 30 June 2014.
The EEO said the government was consulting on how to optimise energy efficiency policy through its Energy White Paper.
The government will save $1.3 billion across four years by abolishing a range of initiatives associated with the carbon tax, the review stated, including reduced funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency between 2014 and 2015.
The mid-year budget review also revealed billions of dollars in funding cuts to programs in areas such as health and education.