The Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme (EEIS) introduced by the ACT Government in 2013 has now been expanded and extended until 2030. The scheme was due to expire in 2020.

Conceptualised as a program to achieve energy savings through various initiatives, the EEIS has, since its introduction, successfully delivered LED lighting, standby power controllers, draught sealers and energy efficient appliances to around 74,000 ACT households and businesses, helping reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions within these target groups.

Following a recent amendment passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly, the EEIS has been expanded to cover even more households and businesses along with a series of changes including incentivised transition from natural gas to more efficient electric appliances, extra support for low income households to reduce energy use, zero emissions vehicles to tackle transport emissions, and support for residential insulation. These measures bring ACT closer to their goal of transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

While ACT has one of the lowest residential electricity and gas prices in the country, it is also one of the biggest consumers of energy. In fact, heating and cooling make up over 60 per cent of household energy usage in the ACT, which is much higher than most other Australian regions. With the EEIS now extended until 2030, the scheme, which has been used by almost half of Canberra's households to reduce energy usage, is expected to benefit even more consumers.

Support for residential insulation

At least 55 per cent of Canberra households have inadequate ceiling insulation, meaning these households use much more energy than is needed to heat and cool their homes.

The expanded EEIS program includes new energy efficiency activities such as residential insulation and business heating and cooling to expand the options available for electricity retailers.

The new insulation activities are designed to be safe and effective with extensive consultation having taken place with industry and codes of practice developed to ensure it is done safely, such as requiring it to be delivered by licensed tradespeople and accredited insulation installers.