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Key findings from the Energy Efficiency Council’s flagship report

5 July 2019

The Energy Efficiency Council’s latest flagship report, The World’s First Fuel: How energy efficiency is reshaping global systems, examines energy management policies in other countries, and what the key lessons are for Australia.

Here are some of the key findings highlighted in the report.

A wake-up call ⁠— Australia lags behind other developed countries

While major global economies are saving energy and money with smart energy-efficiency policy and investments, Australia has "barely begun to tap the potential of energy efficiency".

The International Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks Australia as the worst developed country for energy efficiency policy and performance, and we are falling behind our current target of achieving energy productivity by 40 per cent by 2030.

Australia should adopt other countries’ energy management policies

Major global economies including China, Germany, India, Japan and the United States are making huge efforts to improve their energy efficiency and energy management.

Their ambitious actions are delivering real results with lower energy bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved health and productivity, jobs and economic growth.

Report states, energy efficiency improvements since 2000 have reduced German households’ energy consumption by 27 per cent, reducing bills by AU$64 billion in 2016 and already over 400,000 Germans are employed in the energy efficiency sector.

“Global leaders don’t see energy efficiency as an afterthought in their energy system, but as an integral part of the way that they deliver energy to homes and businesses. Global leaders see energy efficiency as a source of cheap, reliable and clean energy capacity.”

It’s time for Australia to learn from world leaders to become a global leader in this field.

The world needs to raise its global ambition

Global improvements in energy management have delivered remarkable results. International Energy Agency estimates that global energy use in 2017 would have been 12 per cent higher without energy efficiency improvements. 

However, the world still has a long way to go to unlock the full potential for energy management.

According to the report, if we took serious action on energy efficiency we would reduce over 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions required from the energy sector by 2040, AU$770 billion reduction in households’ energy bills, and considerable economic opportunity.


The Energy Efficiency Council suggests various recommendations for Australia to catch up with other developed countries and improve its energy productivity.

The ultimate aim should be to make improving energy management a major national priority and regard it as the world’s ‘first fuel’.

Read more about it on The World’s First Fuel: How energy efficiency is reshaping global systems here

Source: Murray-Leach, R. 2019, The World's First Fuel: How energy efficiency is reshaping global energy systems, Energy Efficiency Council, Melbourne.

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