ACOSS Welcomes New Initiative to Green-Up Low Income Households

25 November 2009

ACOSS welcomes the launch of the $130 million Green Start initiative to help low income households deal with the effects of climate change through improved energy and water efficiency.  “This initiative is a win-win. It is a win for low income earners who will benefit from energy efficiency measures through increased amenity and lower utility bills. And it is a win for the environment, through reduced carbon emissions,” said Clare Martin, CEO, ACOSS, speaking at the launch of the Green Start program.

“Low income households are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and will be hard hit by rising energy and water prices.

“On average, low income earners spend double the proportion of their total weekly household budget on power and water than wealthier households. Power and water bills have been increasing at rates well beyond other goods and services in recent years and low income householders must cover the costs by cutting back on other essential goods like groceries.

“Households with tight budgets have little financial capacity to find the extra dollars to improve the efficiency of their homes, such as such as new showerheads, insulation, new hot water systems or rainwater tanks.

“Everyone in the community has a part to play to lower carbon emissions. Many low-income Australians want to be part of the solution but often lack the financial capacity to make the transition.”

ACOSS welcomes the Green Start initiate to provide assistance which includes:

  • Free energy and water efficient audits in homes;
  • Free supply and installation of energy efficient products such as light bulbs, draught proofing, grey water hoses and compost bins;
  • Linking up existing programs offered by state, territory and federal governments

Green Start was launched today in Canberra by Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts the Hon Peter Garrett, MP.

ACOSS has been working to achieve equitable solutions to the effects of climate change, so that low-income households are shielded from price hikes for essential goods and services and can benefit from new opportunities, such as gaining employment in clean energy jobs.

For more information on the Green Start program, click here.

Community organisations, along with private organisations, can tender for delivery of the program. Tender documents will be available through AusTender.

Media Contact: Clare Cameron, ACOSS – 0419 626 155