Australian households and businesses could save more than $7billion a year in total on power bills if energy efficiency was improved.
An Energy Efficiency Council report released last week also found Australia could meet half its commitment to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030 if international efficiency practices were adopted.
Successful overseas policies include strengthening energy efficiency standards for appliances, homes and cars; ensuring energy markets work in the consumers’ interests; and helping businesses cut their bills.
Energy Efficiency Council chief executive officer Luke Menzel said energy efficiency was the best tool to reduce power bills, improve energy security and address climate change.
‘‘Australia is failing to grasp this golden opportunity — it’s like we’re walking past $100 bills that are just lying on the ground,’’ Mr Menzel said.
‘‘Australian governments are at the back of the pack on energy efficiency.’’
Mr Menzel said in Germany, energy efficiency had cut the average household energy bill by 30 per cent, saving about $790 a year.
In California, 300000 jobs have been created in energy efficiency, while China saved huge amounts of energy in 2017, avoiding the need for scores of coal-fired power stations.
‘‘If Australia replicated best practice from places like the United States, Germany, Japan and China it would be a game-changer for energy affordability and the economy,’’ Mr Menzel said.