Ecovantage welcomes yesterday’s ABC news item on the government’s Victorian Energy Efficiency Scheme (VEET) and the attention it has brought to what we believe is a totally underrated scheme. Since its implementation in January 2009 the scheme has flown largely under the radar, and now that the government is reviewing it we are seeing some real concern about its future. The ABC highlighted the 2500 jobs at stake, but the potential loss of a hugely successful program has wider implications.

The VEET scheme has helped Victorians save energy and money through real, concrete action. The scheme has so far made over a million homes more energy efficient, and many businesses have also reduced their energy use through lighting upgrades, reducing standby power use, draught sealing and the installation of low flow showerheads. Much has been made of door-knocking but the vast majority of our work is done by appointment, and we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback for the work we do.

The VEET scheme has contributed to the unprecedented fall in electricity demand over the past four years and a reduction in both wholesale and peak electricity prices that at some stage should be handed on to the consumer through lower retail costs.

The schemes new focus on businesses will ensure lower energy use and carbon output in the commercial sector as well. This will help competition and lead to reduced costs and higher profit margins for business, while helping to keep jobs in Victoria.

Ecovantage hopes that Minister Kotsiras will see that this is a hugely successful program that costs the government virtually nothing as a well regulated market scheme. The VEET scheme really works in the Direct Action manner that the government supports and it should be extended.