As members are aware the ACT Government is preparing to transition the ACT to net zero emissions from fossil fuel energy by 2045. The MBA is currently advising Government on the key issues to be addressed as part of this transition that will impact the building and construction industry.
Recently, Government conducted public consultation on an Integrated Energy Plan. The Government has released a listening report which summarises the key issues.
The broad findings include:
- There was mixed support for the ACT’s plans to electrify. The majority of event participants were supportive of the energy transition, however this was contrasted by 55% of survey respondents who were either very or somewhat unsupportive.
- The majority of submissions from organisations were generally supportive of the IEP, highlighting the benefits of transitioning to renewable electricity.
- There was broad support for the IEP policy principles, though it was noted that some of the principles could be refined and simplified.
- Stakeholders recognised that the IEP focus areas were thorough in outlining many of the key challenges of implementation including ensuring reliability of the network, complex buildings, workforce, upfront costs for community and business and ensuring equity through the transition.
- Across engagement activities, there was strong support for prioritising a fair and equitable transition to net-zero.
- Participants highlighted the importance of keeping community benefit at the centre of the transition.
- Participants also strongly supported the idea of energy independence and resilience. This included households becoming self-sufficient power hubs through solar panels and battery storage.
- Across all engagement activities, key concerns raised included whether the electricity network has the capacity to support the increased demand, complexity and costs associated with upgrading existing infrastructure, the upfront costs to households and small businesses, and equity and accessibility for vulnerable households.
- The transition was also viewed by many as a significant economic opportunity, including in relation to creating new jobs, especially in the renewable energy sector.
- There was strong support for the role of information and education to help drive the consumer-led transition.
You can now read the full Listening Report by visiting YourSay Conversations.
A more in-depth consultation report will also be published in late 2023.
For more information on the consultation, please visit https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/Integrated-Energy-Plan