The government has announced $206 million in funding for energy upgrades on social and low-income households
Today, the Federal and NSW state governments announced they will support energy saving upgrades by delivering a $206 million package for the hottest and coolest parts of NSW. Nearly 30,000 social and low-income households will be eligible for support in the form of upgraded heating, fans, air conditioning and solar systems.
Lean, clean energy machine
The Federal and NSW governments have each pledged $87.6 million over the next four years, in a bid to improve energy efficiency across the state and support communities in areas facing extreme weather.
Similarly, another $1 million is being invested in renewable energy projects along the South Coast.
According to Dr Jennifer Rayner, Head of Advocacy at the Climate Council, “the announcement from the Albanese and Minns governments is the kind of practical climate action that makes a difference for Australians. By helping people in NSW who are doing it tough to upgrade their appliances and access cheap renewable energy, this investment will cut power bills and carbon pollution – a fantastic two-for-one deal.
“Making our homes more energy efficient and powering them with cheap renewable electricity is an important part of building a clean energy system that works for people, not multinational fossil fuel corporations. Millions of households around Australia are already seeing the benefits so it’s essential renters, people on tight incomes and those who live in apartments can share these too.”
Supply and demand
According to experts, social housing is one of the least energy efficient homes in Australia. By simply upgrading a property from a 1-star to 3-star energy rating, energy consumption can drop by 30 percent.
Similarly, improving energy efficiency will help low-income households to reduce their spending.
As part of the initiative, the government estimates that 10,000 households will have access to the ‘solar banks’ program first announced in 2021. This initiative can take up to $600 a year off power bills by supporting the installation of rooftop solar panels and allowing households to buy a share of a ‘solar garden’ or small community energy system.
Emma Bacon, Sweltering Cities Executive Director, believes that these changes could have major benefits for communities.
“This funding is a good step towards helping low-income families manage their health as summers get hotter. Too many people in Western Sydney tell us that they can’t afford to keep cool, so it’s essential that we deliver solar access and energy efficiency measures that will keep bills down.”
These energy upgrades will be a benefit to all Aussies, as a move towards the country’s 2030 emissions targets.
To learn more about solar power in Australia, click here.