The NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) and the Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability (DEUS) are developing a program to improve energy and water efficiency for low income households, as well as, providers of support and crisis accommodation.
Energy and water efficient devices, appliances and practices can result in significant savings on utility bills for households and organisations, as well as improve lifestyle and comfort through better affordability.
However, low income households are also often not in a position to purchase high quality energy and water efficient products and may not have adequate information to make good purchasing decisions when considering the purchase cost versus the running cost of appliances. At the same time, using inefficient appliances can result in higher utility bills and overall running costs to those households with the least ability to pay for these services.
Aims of the project include using the NABERS environmental rating tool to benchmark the efficiency of low income households; developing education programs on implementing energy and water efficiency improvements in households and organisation premises; developing a framework to assist organisations improve energy and water efficiency at their premises; and negotiating methods to make higher cost energy and water efficiency items more affordable for low income households.
The next steps involve developing a "how to carry out an audit on water and energy use" training program for services that support low income households.