One Million Homes
In the lead up to the 2010 election, Premier Baillieu committed to raising Victoria’s existing homes to an average of 5 stars, meaning everyone can benefit from nifty water and energy efficiency measures – great for your bank balance and great for combating climate change! Now it’s time to deliver…
Throughout 2010 the One Million Homes Alliance worked hard to get both major parties to commit to raising Victoria’s existing houses from an average of 2 stars, to 5 stars. Victoria already has a minimum standard of 6 stars in place for all new homes being built, so this commitment was the piece in the puzzle we needed to get all of Victoria’s homes energy efficient and firmly in the 21st century.
But having 5 star homes for Victorians is not just about reducing our greenhouse pollution – although it will do that too. It’s also about caring for those most vulnerable in our community; making sure that all Victorians will have homes that are more comfortable to live in and cost less to warm and cool. Today in Victoria those living in poverty are far more likely to be living in poor quality housing and under risk of ‘utilities stress’ - i.e. being unable to afford to heat or cool their homes, or must go without essentials, such as food or medication, in order to do so. 5 star homes will make a real difference to these households.
But it’s a long way from commitment to actual 5 star homes for all Victorians. This year the Alliance is working to support the Victorian Government in establishing how their 5 star commitment can be met.
The 2013/14 State Budget
When it comes down to nuts and bolts, a government’s annual budget is where we can all see how serious they are on the commitments they’ve made. The Victorian Government now needs to act on the 5 star homes commitment they made at the 2010 election, in their current budget. This is the last chance they have to show us they are serious about the commitment by taking action before the next election.
The One Million Homes Alliance, coordinated by Environment Victoria, recently submitted advice on what they need to do to in the 2013/14 financial year to progress this election commitment.
We’d like to see them reaffirm their commitment to raising Victoria’s existing homes to an average of 5 stars. The action recommended in our One Million Homes budget submission is:
1. Plan, fund and implement targeted ‘pilot’ household retrofitting program to low star rated homes, with a priority on concession households, of a minimum 20,000 homes over two to three years from 2013-14.
Research (which will also require funding) required to enable the pilot includes:
i. Further analysis of the cost to government of achieving the average 5-star standard for Victorian homes.
ii. Further analysis of the savings to government and consumers of achieving the 5-star standard.
iii. Assessment of the best mix of investment and policy settings to achieve the election commitment.
2. Commit forward funding allocations over 10 years from 2013/14 to transition Victorian homes to an average of 5-star. This should take into account the $600 million in savings from the Energy Concessions Budget
There’s a lot we stand to gain.
By retrofitting One Million Homes in Victoria, our government could:
- go a long way towards dealing with climate change
- create up to 6,900 new green jobs
- reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 million tonnes
- save 32.5 billion litres of water for our rivers
- ensure that our buildings and homes are climate change ready, protecting us from heatwaves, cold-snaps and dryer conditions
- save Victorian households on average $296 per year on utility bills that are already rising and set to rise more
- produce $296 million in benefits to the Victorian community per year
- support low income households and those suffering from energy hardship
The One Million Homes Alliance has produced a report which looks at the 5 star commitment – Liveable homes, liveable future. We’ve reviewed and rated the different policy options for achieving 5 star homes, and developed essential principles which any of the approaches adopted by the government should adhere to, if they are to maximise the many social, environmental and economic gains on offer.
Raising our homes to 5 stars has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life and bank balance of over a million Victorian households – many our most vulnerable - while creating jobs and reducing greenhouse pollution, energy and water use. It truly is a win-win for Victoria’s economy and environment.
We’ve formed an alliance with other groups to make sure our voice is heard load and clear.
Coordinated by Environment Victoria, the Alliance comprises consumer, social, and environment organisations such as Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre, Moreland Energy Foundation, Victorian Council of Social Services and the Alternative Technology Association. Our aim is to see a fair and effective scheme put in place to raise existing Victorian homes to a minimum 5 star standard, which will help the State meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets.
One Million Homes is supported by bankmecu
Prior to the state election, we analysed where the major Victorian parties stand on retrofitting one million low-income homes for water and energy efficiency by 2014. Get the details here
And post the election, we prepared a list of their election commitments - the good, the vague and the downright worrying. You can find it here
Zero emissions homes are no pipe dream. We’ve also got a plan to make sure that all new homes across Victoria are up to scratch. Read our report: Towards Climate Safe Homes
By investing in more community education programs, our government could also help Victorians use water and energy more efficiently. Check out our Sustainable Living Programs
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- One Million Homes: A 2010 energy and water efficiency campaign |
- Where the major Victorian parties stand on retrofitting one million low-income homes for water and energy efficiency by 2015 |
- 2011 Annual Report |
- Zero emissions homes within reach |
- Coalition lagging badly on environment |
- Coalition’s condemned for failure to reveal climate change policy |
- New poll finds Victorians want clean energy action. Is Premier Baillieu listening? |
- Throwing out building standards would damage environment and hurt household budgets |
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