Investments in energy efficiency will benefit low income households and social services

9 February 2012

ACOSS welcomed the commencement today of new programs that will boost energy efficiency in low income households and community welfare organisations.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said “Energy prices have increased steeply over recent years, at rates well ahead of basic wages and income support payments.

“Many households struggle to keep up with the cost of essential energy use. We know that if we improve energy efficiency we can improve wellbeing and minimise bills. We can do this cost effectively and we can do it now,” she said.

“The efficiency programs which opened today are investments in the clean energy future. We need to use energy more effectively, we need to use less of it where we can, and we need to use cleaner energy.

“Low income households often use less energy than average households. But they often spend a larger share of their incomes on energy. And they often live in less thermally efficient homes and use older, inefficient appliances. Improvements in energy use-efficiency work as buffers against increasing energy prices; the impacts are long lasting and can be really significant.

“Similarly, providers of community services are faced with soaring utility costs just to keep their doors open and their clients looked after. They can’t simply increase their charges to cover costs, many don’t charge for the services they provide. Better energy efficiency means that the quantity and quality of necessary services can be more easily maintained.

“We look forward to the opportunities that these programs will create and we congratulate the Government for forward thinking,” Dr Goldie said.

For more information contact Fernando de Freitas 0419 626 155