VEET energy saving scheme helps those on low incomes and should continue

7 August 2014

With the Victorian Parliament debating the future of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme today, leading welfare group the Brotherhood of St Laurence urges support for the scheme, which helps low income households cope with rising energy prices.

“The Brotherhood’s own research has shown that households in more disadvantaged areas have received more benefits under the VEET scheme than those in more advantaged areas," said Damian Sullivan, the Brotherhood of St Laurence's Senior Manager, Equity in Response to Climate Change.

"Electricity prices have risen dramatically since 2007, and these price increases have hurt many low-income households. Now these households are also facing huge increases in gas bills," he said.

"Low-income households bear the brunt of rising prices, and energy efficiency measures are one of the important ways they can cope with higher prices."However, low-income households need support through schemes like the VEET scheme."

Mr Sullivan said the VEET was introduced in 2009 to help homes and businesses save energy by making it cheaper to install energy-efficient lights, showerheads and appliances."Without the VEET scheme, and similar programs, the up-front costs of more efficient items are often too high." he said.

"The Government’s own modelling of the scheme, which is very conservative, shows that people who participate in the VEET scheme would receive significant benefits," Mr Sullivan said.

"Through the Brotherhood of St Laurence's Social Enterprise division we also provide a community service by disposing of old fridges including their harmful CFC gases, in safe and environmentally friendly way. This work is largely funded through incentives in the VEET scheme."

Mr Sullivan said the Brotherhood is calling for a commitment from all parties to:

  1. Retain the VEET scheme, and conduct a review of the next phase of the scheme, in order to ensure low-income households will continue to benefit.
  2. Support energy efficiency programs, which assist low-income households improve the efficiency of their homes and as a result lower their energy bills.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeannie Zakharov on 0428 391 117