The Australian Greens will today launch a plan for energy and water efficiency upgrades to social housing that will improve the lives of one million Australians.
Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said ‘Repowering Social Housing' will bring down the cost of living for those who need it most.
"The Greens' plan will put solar panels on the roof of every social housing home, will cut power bills for those who need it most, and will improve quality of life for the one million Australians living in social housing," said Senator Ludlam.
The plan will also provide a training, employment and education package for tenants interested in developing skills in the green jobs sector.
"We will upgrade all public housing stock, including state-owned and managed Aboriginal housing, community housing and Indigenous community housing, with solar power systems and measures to save power and water," said Senator Ludlam.
"Two thirds of social housing homes in Australia were built before 1980 - they waste electricity, they waste water, and they're hard to keep warm. People deserve better than that.
"Many older Australians live in social housing. They should have a home that's easy to keep warm in winter and cool in summer - and will be much cheaper to maintain.
"The Greens launched a solar social housing policy in the Western Australian State Election and it was widely praised by the housing and welfare sectors. Repowering Social Housing is bigger and better - including more measures to bring down living costs in a nation-wide initiative.
"This is a fully-costed plan. For less than $80 million a year, Repowering Social Housing will make a big difference to the lives of so many people. In New Zealand, the Greens successfully had 200,000 homes energy retrofitted in a similar project.
"Solar panels can save a household $500 per year, and the different between a 5-star energy efficient home and a 3-star home is about $1000 a year. By making social housing more energy efficient, this plan takes pressure off the hip pocket, and it takes pressure off the environment.
"The Greens care about the quality of social housing and are standing up for Australia's social housing residents," said Senator Ludlam.
Repowering Social Housing would:
- Fit 1.5kW solar power systems on 520,000 social housing property at a cost of $1,500;
- install energy efficient appliances and light globes, water efficient appliances and shower heads, ceiling fans, ventilation fans, roof and wall insulation, and draught proofing;
- Provide a property energy assessment and education and advice to tenants on how they can make behavioural changes to help save energy in the home; and
- Provide a training, employment and education package for tenants interested in developing skills in the green jobs sector.