The Victorian economy could receive a much-needed boost through the creation of hundreds of new jobs that could be created quickly with no additional cost to consumers, according to a new paper released by the Clean Energy Council today.

Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton said jobs could easily be created in clean energy sectors such as solar power, solar hot water and insulation using simple tweaks to existing policies, if whichever party wins the next state election is prepared to look more closely at the issue.

“Obviously the outcome of the current review of the Renewable Energy Target will have a significant impact on the future of renewable energy in Victoria, and its associated jobs, and we therefore encourage all Victorian political parties to support the current RET policy. But there is more that can be done,” Mr Thornton said.

“For example, the Victorian Government provides a proportional discount to low-income households on their power bills, and the cost of funding this program is rising.

“But by ensuring that some of the 70,000 hot water systems that are replaced on average annually in low-income housing are substituted with a solar hot water unit, the government could deliver gross savings to its budget of $100 million over 10 years, help families save money and create several hundred jobs.

“Other policies include cutting red tape for commercial solar power projects, helping renters or low-income home owners to lease rather than buy a solar power system, and revisiting insulation in low-income and rural households in Victoria,” he said.

The paper Quick clean energy jobs for Victoria highlights five ideas that could create more than 2000 jobs at a time when several major Victorian-based manufacturers have decided to exit the Australian market.

Mr Thornton said the state needed new jobs in manufacturing and services that are sustainable and have significant future growth potential.

“All the negative media coverage around the Federal Government’s home insulation program has scared off policymakers from going anywhere near it, but the reality is that those issues can be sensibly addressed and insulation is another area that represents a massive opportunity for Victoria,” he said.

“By making insulation eligible under the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target, extending the target and introducing an accreditation and training scheme, there is the potential to deliver jobs for tradespeople while helping households to save on their heating and power bills.”

Quick clean energy jobs for Victoria is available from the Clean Energy Council website.      

Please contact Mark Bretherton at the Clean Energy Council on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.