CHANGES to the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target are expected to hit state Parliament next week with Opposition environment spokesperson Lily D’Ambrosio visiting Ballarat to gain support for the program.
Ms D’Ambrosio said the plans to axe the target could cost 460 jobs across regional Victoria.
“This can’t come at a worse time for regional Victoria,” she said.
“The VEET scheme has proven to save consumers a great deal of money on their energy bills.
“Over 2000 people have been employed because of the VEET scheme, with 460 in regional areas.
“Those jobs are going to disappear if the government gets its way.”
Ms D’Ambrosio said if Labor was to win government in November, the target would continue.
The Napthine government plans to axe the target completely at the end of 2015, replacing it with a My Star Energy Rating program which puts the emphasis back on homeowners to make their houses more energy efficient.
However, the amendment to be debated in Parliament next week will reduce the target from 5.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to a transitional target of two million tonnes for 2015.
Inhabit Homewares owner Paige Fawcus said her business had used the VEET scheme to cut power bills.
“It helped me put LED lights in and cut my bills by 80 per cent,” she said. “This funding has helped me a lot so it would be disappointing to see it go.”
Energy and Resources Minister Russell Northe said the cost of continuing the VEET would vastly outweigh any potential benefits.
“The program in its current form would have cost the Victorian economy over $700 million between 2015 and 2030,” he said. “According to the business impact statement, the scheme would cost non-participants over $50 per annum on their electricity bills each year until 2017.
“The 2015 date is to allow those businesses currently participating in the VEET scheme time to adjust.”