Review aims to drive down home energy bills

08/10/2012

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The State Government has announced it will investigate an expansion of its household energy efficiency scheme with the aim of driving down power bills for more South Australians.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the review will look at ways to ensure more customers - particularly those on low incomes - can make savings on their bills.

The Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme review is a part of a suite of energy reforms by the State Government that includes improving standards in the retail sector and removing contract exit fees.

"We are very aware of the cost-of-living challenges facing South Australians and the need to offer support to help people better manage their power bills," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"Reducing the amount of energy people use without compromising their lifestyle is one way of addressing those cost-of-living pressures.

"Today I am launching an issues paper as the first step toward a planned expansion of the scheme that will allow us to explore new ways to drive energy efficiency in our homes."

The Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme was launched in 2009 and since then has delivered more than $107 million of net benefits to more than 165,000 South Australian households.

Under the scheme, all of the State's larger energy retailers are obliged to achieve residential energy efficiency targets each year with a strong focus on assisting lower income households.

"The State Government will continue to act within its powers to ensure the strain on household power bills are minimised as much as possible," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"Australian Bureau of Statistics figures published last month show growing home energy consumption is responsible for 25 per cent of the increase in our power bills.

"This growth in consumption suggests that there is capacity to drive greater efficiency in our homes to further reduce energy bills."

Mr Koutsantonis said the State Government also assists households to find ways to save money by providing the popular Home Energy Toolkits through libraries and the electorate offices of State MPs.

Public consultation on the REES issues paper is now open with submissions received until 12 November 2012. The paper can be found online at http://www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/reesreview