Energy costs to rise for health sector as Greener Government Buildings program axed

News posted on 03.04.2014

Thefifthestate.com.au has reported (27/03/2014) on the huge impact on the hospital and health sector as the Victorian Government abandons the Greener Government Buildings program.

The hugely successful program was on track to benefit taxpayers with lower energy bills. Losing the program will cost many people jobs and affects a range of energy efficiency service companies who have made major investments.

Rob Murray-Leach, the chief executive of the Energy Efficiency Council, says that some of their members will have to cut up to 70 per cent of their Victorian staff.

He says that many communities around Victoria will lose out. Upgrades to hospitals and schools, including Frankston, Geelong and Footscray have now been put on hold, a decision that Mr Murray-Leach says is financially irresponsible and economically reckless.

Victorian Health Minister, David Davis is understood to be "furious". As the health sector is a huge consumer of energy, losing the program will cost over $21 million a year. In 2010-11 alone, the Victorian health services spent almost $70 million on energy.

The Victorian Auditor-General said that without energy efficiency initiatives or additional funding, the health services may need to reduce other healthcare services as they allocate more of their budget to energy supply costs.