Energy Ministers asked to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.
The coalition for healthy affordable homes (the coalition), comprising of Shelter WA and other national and state organisations, is urging the energy ministers across Australia to demonstrate commitment to improving energy efficiency of existing homes ahead of the upcoming Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council meeting on 22 November 2019.
Shelter WA believes that everyone has the right the live in a home that is safe, comfortable and affordable. Improving the energy efficiency for existing homes is crucial in reducing deaths from extreme heat and cold, significantly reducing energy bills, improving health and wellbeing, and reducing the risk of homelessness, particularly for people living below the poverty line.
Supporting those on low incomes
Furthermore, improving the energy efficiency of existing homes will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the reliability and security of the energy grid, reduce energy costs through avoided generation, create thousands of jobs and improve economic productivity.
The coalition acknowledges the support of the COAG Energy Council for the consultation process for the Trajectory for Low Energy Existing Homes, however, sees potential for strengthening policies and measures to support people on low incomes.
People on low incomes are most at risk of high energy bills and poor health outcomes as a result of inefficient housing.
Positive outcome for low income households must be prioritised by the implementation of mandatory minimum energy efficiency standards for rental homes including specific measures to support implementation in public, Aboriginal and community housing, and providing additional funds to organisations to upgrade or replace with more energy efficiency housing.