Rush on Australian Energy Rebates Create New Green Jobs

The Australian Federal government are billing it is as the" largest-ever energy efficiency rollout" in the country. It's their $4 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package designed to get ceiling insulation into the roofs of 2.9 million Australian homes, by 2012. Even in sunny Australia winter heat loss and summer heat gain through a residential ceiling is calculated to be between 25% and 35%, so there may be some truth in the government's hyperbole.

As you might expect, given that they are giving home owner-occupiers a $1,600 AUD insulation rebate and $1,000 to landlords or tenants for rental properties, it's no wonder that, as the Environmental Export reports, 50,000 people have already signed up for the program. Not bad considering it only officially kicked off yesterday. Aside from reducing an estimated 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases emissions over the next 12 months, the federal government are happy to report that the initiative is also creating so-called Green Jobs.

The Environment Minister, Peter Garrett (by sheer coincidence, his old band Midnight Oil started to play on my iTunes playlist as I began this paragraph. No bull) was recently in Brisbane, Queensland to open a new manufacturing plant for Bradford Insulation. According to the Brisbane Times the plant will employ 70 new staff and a media sent though by Weber Shandwick says it will run 24 hours a day to keep pace with the demand for insulation materials. From this factory Bradford will produce their Gold insulation, which comprises 80% recycled glass.

Elsewhere in the country, Adelaide Now report that Bradford reckon there will be 300 new jobs will be created within South Australia's insulation industry.

Let's just hope this program is better managed than the solar photovoltaic rebate. The government, unceremoniously, without any warning, pulled the plug early last month on this $8,000 rebate, giving solar panel installers only eight hours to secure business they thought they had weeks to resolve.


Image: Via Ecomedia
EcoMedia suggest that demand for that solar program simply swamped the government's allocated budget. Almost a third of the funds allocated for five years worth of rebates was spent in May 2009 alone. And that doesn't include the more than 60,000 further pre-approved photovolatic installations to be completed over the next 12 months. So one does understand why the bean counters did get a bit nervous.

But if Australia is to lose its title of largest greenhouse gas emitter per capita, these are just the sort of expenditures and investments that are urgently required.

:: Energy Efficient Homes Package Insulation Rebate
Top Photos: Future Sustainability and Insulation Warehouse
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Tags: Cooling | Energy Efficiency | Heating | Renewable Energy