21 Oct 2005

The pursuit of energy efficiency would also seem to be in the interests of any rational producer or consumer, firm or household. Yet the issue at the heart of this inquiry is why producers and consumers do not always seek greater energy efficiency, even when it seems cost effective for them to do so. Why isn’t the market working - or is it? Answering these questions is important in framing a policy response that will provide net benefits for the community.

15 Jun 2005

This report focuses on the management of energy, waste and water by Victorian households. It contains 72 recommendations which the committee believes can be readily implemented and will substantially strengthen sustainable consumption management and policy in Victoria.

03 Mar 2005

Australian governments engaged in a major reform program in the 1990s, culminating in the formation of the National Electricity Market (NEM) which commenced operation on 13 December 1998. Today, the NEM supplies electricity to 7.7 million Australian customers on an interconnected national grid that runs through Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia. In this paper Stewart Smith reviews the electricity market from a national perspective, and then focuses on the requirements of NSW.

Briefing paper
29 Oct 2004

Sustainable energy systems are widely seen as a desirable goal, but what constitutes such systems and how to make the transition from current practice to sustainable practice are more contested. Developed nations are locked-in to fossil fuel use, with a myriad of economic, technical, institutional and social obstacles discouraging change. Such obstacles are currently being faced by wind power proponents. The latter are promoting wind power in Australia because they believe it has a role in a sustainable energy system. The paper proposes that society can learn about the introduction of ‘sustainable’ technologies from the wind power case and suggests a body of theory and an analytical method for this purpose. The methodological argument is supported by the preliminary results of an ongoing empirical study. The paper concludes with a reflection on the theory and method and an outline of future research.

Journal article
16 Apr 2003

This paper examines the importance of household energy use and research into it. It reviews studies from around the world that have measured and investigated the characteristics of such consumption. It then concentrates on relevant research of this kind in Australia. It goes on to distill the main determinants of energy use by households and discusses the important phenomenon of inter-correlation between these influences.

Discussion paper