Media Releases | 4th Jul, 2018

Victoria's energy efficiency failure: Too many households left powerless through winter

Victorians are currently freezing through winter in homes that average less than two energy efficiency stars.

Victorians are currently freezing through winter in homes that average less than two energy efficiency stars. The cost of heating these inefficient homes often becomes too much, leading many low-income households to fall behind on bills and their power to be disconnected right when they need it most.

With recent figures showing energy disconnections in Victoria for non-payment of bills have jumped by twenty-two per cent, the One Million Homes Alliance is calling for all parties contesting November’s state election to commit to ambitious targets to raise the energy efficiency of Victorian homes.

The One Million Homes Alliance – a cross-sector partnership of Victoria’s leading environmental, social, and consumer organisations – has released its ‘Safe and Sustainable Homes for All: Roadmap to 2025’ which sets out a comprehensive agenda for raising the efficiency performance of Victoria’s homes.

Key initiatives include:

  • Raising building standards for new and existing homes
  • Making it easier for households to get trustworthy, relevant advice on efficiency and solar upgrade options
  • Expanding affordable finance
  • Significantly scaling up efficiency retrofit programs for Victoria’s low income and disadvantaged households

Comment attributable to Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria

“The transition to clean energy is underway and inevitable, but we must make sure no-one is left behind.

“It’s unacceptable that so many Victorians are being forced to endure dangerous indoor temperatures through winter due to energy inefficient homes which cost a fortune to keep at a healthy temperature.

“Making sure all Victorians can access efficiency measures like insulation, draught-sealing, and more efficient heaters is the most effective action government could take to help households with high energy bills, and cut Victoria’s climate pollution.

“The latest International Energy Efficiency Scorecard shows Australia has fallen in national rankings. We are now the worst in the developed world, coming 18th among the world’s 25 largest energy users. This is completely unacceptable. If our federal government won’t take control, our state government must step up.

“Without strong government leadership, hundreds of thousands of Victorians will remain locked out of home efficiency and solar upgrades that would cut their bills and reduce Victoria’s climate pollution.

“We know renewables are now the cheapest source of energy, and together with more energy efficient homes, we can slash Victorian power bills for good.

“The One Million Homes Alliance is calling for all parties to commit to significantly raising the energy efficiency of Victorian homes ahead of November’s state election.”

Comment attributable to Emma King, CEO, Victorian Council for Social Service

“We know more than 40,000 Victorians are having their power cut off every year because they can’t pay the bill.

“People would be better able to pay their bill if their home had basic things like insulation and modern, affordable heating.

“A home that naturally stays cooler in summer and warmer in winter allows you to cut back on your energy use and lower your bills.

“Energy efficiency and the plight of people living in poverty are inextricably linked; they cannot and must not be discussed in isolation.

“More energy efficient homes means more people who can meet their basic needs for heating, cooling, cooking and cleaning; it’s as simple as that.”

Comment attributable to Gerard Brody, CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre

“Disconnections are on the increase – 11 per cent over the previous quarter, and 22 percent higher than the same time last year. Unmanageable energy bills are the second most reported issue when people seek help from our Financial Counselling team.

“We know there is a solution out there. Providing practical assistance with efficiency upgrades would see many Victorians saving money and staying warm instead of having to fight just to keep the lights on.”

Download the Efficiency Roadmap to 2025 at

Download the 2018 ACEEE International Energy Efficiency Scorecard report at

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
Mobile: 0439 700 501

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