United call for energy efficient homes

The Energy Ministers are coming together today for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council meeting; and the coalition for healthy affordable homes (the coalition), comprising of Shelter WA and other national and state organisations, is urging the Energy Ministers to demonstrate commitment to improving energy efficiency of existing homes.

Shelter WA believes that everyone has the right to 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.

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 outcomes 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.

The full open letter with further recommendations can be found here.

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