For most people in our community, the concept of energy goes no further than the price they pay to keep the lights on, but in reality, the majority of Australian households, businesses and industries are still in the dark when it comes to understanding how and why energy is fundamental to our way of life.
Confusion around key energy issues continue at a societal level, with concern about energy pricing, reliability and renewable versus non-renewable generation masking a deeper misunderstanding about the sources of power generation, grid electrification and pathways to a low-emissions future.
With little to no nationally coordinated effort to enhance Australia's energy knowledge, there has been no improvement to levels of community energy understanding — known as energy literacy — over the last 10 years.
What 'energy literacy' means, however, and how it is achieved, has also become a point of contention. A central dilemma is that it matters who funds any push to build an energy literate society.
To help support an independent, collaborative and evidence-based approach to building energy literacy across Australia, NERA commissioned the University of Queensland to undertake a piece of research. The research was led by Professor Peta Ashworth, Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures. Professor Ashworth is one of Australia's leading experts in sustainability, energy literacy and public perceptions of climate and energy technologies.
The result is the new Building Australia's Energy Literacy report, which provides an independent definition of energy literacy and offers recommendations to coordinate under a national framework what is currently a fragmented landscape driven by sectoral agendas.
NERA is pleased to collaborate with The University of Queensland to produce this report and, through it, to develop an action plan for what an energy literacy project can look like in Australia, as well as to identify potential collaborators for this work.
Click here to read NERA's introduction to the report from NERA CEO Miranda Taylor.
To read and download the Building Australia's Energy Literacy report, follow the link below.