The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has welcomed the NSW Environment Minister’s announcement of the creation of a new Home Energy Action program to assist low-income and vulnerable households.
‘The energy price rises of the last five years have hurt low-income families the most. We know that households in the lowest decile are now spending up to 14% of their available income on energy bills,’ said CEO of PIAC, Edward Santow.
‘Low-income households often live in poor quality housing with inefficient appliances, so we welcome the Home Energy Action program tackling both housing and appliance efficiency. Making homes more efficient will make them more comfortable and also should make them healthier for residents,’ said Mr Santow.
‘Low-income and other vulnerable people usually do not own their own homes, nor do they have the funds to buy energy-efficient appliances. Addressing the thermal performance of homes by improving the insulation, for example, is a highly effective way of reducing both bills and greenhouse gas emissions,’ said Dr Gabrielle Kuiper, Senior Policy Officer in PIAC’s Energy + Water Consumer Advocacy Program (EWCAP).
‘Bearing in mind that fridges alone can use at least ten percent of household electricity, the decision to provide people with no interest loans to buy efficient fridges and washing machines can also make a significant difference to energy costs and the loan is able to be repaid through the bill savings. This makes the program both effective and low cost to government,’ said Dr Kuiper.
‘We look forward to working with the NSW Government to develop the details of the program over coming months,’ said Mr Santow.
PIAC CEO, Edward Santow, 0434 353 096
PIAC Senior Policy Officer, Dr Gabrielle Kuiper, 0410 324 942