News | 12th Jul, 2010

Helping Victorian homes tackle climate change, energy & water bills

Monday, 12 July 2010

The One Million Homes Alliance is calling on the Victorian Government to enable more Victorians to tackle climate change and rising energy and water bills by upgrading the water and energy efficiency of one million Victorian homes.

The new alliance of 11 environment, social justice and consumer groups has released a $2.57 billion plan to improve almost half Victoria’s houses over the next five years, with priority given to the homes of concession card holders including pensioners, low income families and renters.

Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy says the One Million Homes plan could cut average household energy and water bills by an average of $296 per year, and deliver major greenhouse savings.

“Bringing one million older houses up to date with modern water and energy efficiency standards could cut Victoria’s greenhouse emissions by an estimated 2.38 million tonnes per year and save over 30 billion litres of water annually.”

Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Tony Nicholson said low income households are less likely to access existing government environmental rebates because they can’t afford the up‐front costs.
“All low income households will be affected by rising energy costs and without assistance they won’t be able to afford efficiency measures to cut energy use and costs” he said.

Acting Victorian Council of Social Service CEO Carolyn Atkins said “low‐income Victorians were already struggling with rising electricity and water bills”.

“People on low incomes are more likely to be living in poor quality housing that is difficult and expensive to heat in winter and keep cool in summer.”

Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd. CEO Paul Murfitt said “As long as these older houses are left to leak energy and water ‐ it’s like having a hole in the bucket – it will undermine other efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions and water use.”

The total cost of the program has been calculated at $514 million per year for five years, without taking account of existing Government rebates and subsidies. “By coordinating this plan with existing programs like the solar hot water rebate and Victorian Energy Efficiency Target the net cost to the Government could be as low as $114 million per year,” said Ms O’Shanassy.

For comment contact:

Kelly O’Shanassy, Environment Victoria 0421 054 402,

Paul Murfitt, Moreland Energy Foundation 0401 990 273,

Carolyn Atkins, VCOSS 0419 896 859,

Tony Nicholson, Brotherhood of St Laurence call Johanna de Wever on 0424 751 920

Media assistance: Louise Matthiesson 0417 017 844