Rewiring Australia’s Pre-Budget Submission – Electrification Package
The Yarra Energy Foundation were extremely pleased to see the release of Rewiring Australia’s pre-budget submission for an ‘electrification package’.
It comes in response to the Australian Government’s commitment for electrification as a way to reduce cost-of-living pressures.
Rewiring Australia’s proposal focuses on individuals that have previously been brushed aside in the clean energy transition — low-income, rental, and apartment households.
In the submission, Rewiring Australia recommends methods to lower the ongoing cost of subsidies, support research and development, and coordinate electrification policy.
Overall, it presents a pragmatic and effective approach to reducing costs for households and businesses while promoting sustainable energy use.
As such, Yarra Energy Foundation strongly endorses and supports both the intent and proposals in Rewiring Australia’s Pre-Budget Submission 2023-2024.
Summary of Proposed Electrification Measures 2023 – 2027
Summary of proposed electrification measures 2023 – 2027, from Rewiring Australia’s pre-budget submission.
In their proposal, Rewiring Australia highlight the total payments for electrification measures from 2023 to 2027 would be only $551 million on budget with an additional $3 billion off-budget from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
You can read their breakdown of each measure in their official submission.
As shown in the table above, Rewiring Australia has proposed that ~$3.5 billion is put towards the electrification of households and businesses across the country.
This is in recognition of the numerous barriers that are faced when electrifying:
- Upfront costs
- Lack of knowledge/awareness
- Workforce and supply chain restrictions
As mentioned, the immediate priority identified in this proposal is to focus on those who require the most support, such as low-income households, renters, and apartment tenants.
The proposal outlines that most of this financing could come from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) current funds. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) existing funds, as well as budget appropriations, could also support this project.
This would drastically accelerate wide-spread electrification and provide much needed financial relief to those who need it most, while also reducing their emissions.
We need rapid action if we are to come anywhere close to the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.
Australia has the resources, technology, and finances to make this happen now. We could lead the world on electrification and demonstrate an achievable model for all other countries to aspire to.
Why is Electrification So Important?
Household energy usage makes up ~42% of our domestic emissions here in Australia. The vast, vast majority of these emissions are produced by the technology that dominates our everyday lives – petrol/diesel cars, gas heating/cooling, gas water heaters, gas cooktops, and of course the dirty fossil fuel plants supplying us with all our electricity.
The solution is a simple one really. Replacing all these fossil fuel based appliances with energy efficient, electric ones and using renewable energy (like rooftop solar) to power them.
Renewable energy is cheap, clean and is not going to run out. Oh, and Australia has a lot of it!
Not only would wide-scale electrification drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, which is the main cause of climate change, it would also benefit our economy.
The economic and environmental advantages of electrification were recently quantified in a report by Dr. Saul Griffith, Rewiring Australia’s founder and chief scientist.
The report suggested that an investment of approximately $12 billion, which is equivalent to the annual government subsidies for fossil fuels, would eliminate carbon emissions from households and generate savings of hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.
By electrifying, total energy consumption in the domestic economy could be reduced by 50%. This is due to the incredible inefficiency of burning fossil fuels, whereas electrification is highly efficient.
“The main products of burning coal, oil and gas are waste heat and the climate emergency.”
You can read more about the true power of electrification here or on the Rewiring Australia website.