More investment needed in job-rich energy efficiency for low-income homes

17 September 2020

ACOSS welcomes the refunding of Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and additional mandate to focus on energy efficiency, but urges significantly more government investment in energy efficiency measures to quickly stimulate jobs and deliver benefits to renters and people on low incomes.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said “We welcome the Federal Government reinvestment in ARENA and expanded mandate to facilitate improved energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings. We hope to see significantly more funding announced as soon as possible for a major rollout of energy efficiency measures for low-income homes.”

“ACOSS in conjunction with 50 other organisations including the Australian Industry Group, Clean Energy Council, and Community Housing Association Australia are calling for major investment in retrofitting millions of low-income homes with energy efficiency and rooftop solar.
“Investment in energy efficiency and solar for low-income households could quickly create more than 60,000 jobs in training, auditing, installation, manufacturing and local retail.

“It is a smart way to utilise Government funds because every dollar spent goes towards helping people most in need by reducing energy bills, while creating jobs and cutting emissions. Every dollar saved on energy bills for a person on a low income is then spent back into the economy to create more jobs.”

ACOSS Climate and Energy Senior Advisor, Kellie Caught said “The Government should also rethink the proposals to subsidise coal and gas, which will only continue to fuel the climate crisis that is putting people’s health and wellbeing at risk, and creating stranded assets.

“The Government should instead be looking at ways to accelerate zero emissions energy and homes, by supporting households, in particular people on low-incomes, to transition away from gas due to its high emissions and network costs and to support access to solar, batteries, electric vehicles and energy efficient appliances and houses.

“The Government has an opportunity to directly invest in creating thousands of local jobs across Australia now while delivering lower energy bills, better lives, a stronger energy system and fewer emissions.”