Finally an Election Stance on Solar & Renewable Energy


Not Sure Where the Political Party’s Stand on Solar & Renewable Energy?

The Greens have just announced their initiative for Solar & Renewable Energy on their website,  http://greens.org.au. What is exciting is their vision for Australia to achieve 90% clean energy and double energy efficiency by 2030. The Greens’ plan has the simple objective to deliver clean power, lower electricity bills, and homes that are cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in, through a nationwide upgrade program for Australia’s 421,000 public and community housing dwellings.

In fact, retrofitting and repowering Australia’s ageing stock of public and community housing with clean energy is one of the most exciting opportunities to reduce carbon pollution. In this well thought out scheme, the least energy efficient housing would be prioritised first, making properties cheaper to run, more comfortable to live in and in turn improve the lives of low-income renters.

Solar Power 2kW for solar & renewable energyThis initiative is expected to cost $2000 per house for the installation of a 2Kw solar PV system, upgrading Australia’s 421,000 public and community dwellings by 2030. With 65% of these dwellings built before 1980, it would be a welcome update for Australia’s ageing public and community housing stock, which is becoming increasingly expensive to to maintain a liveable climate control. Energy efficient appliances, along with a host of refurbishments are also planned to make the homes cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in.
According to the Greens Deputy Leader, Senator for QLD Larissa Waters, “We have an unequal system where our lowest earners are paying the highest price for power, in ageing houses that are inefficient to run and are hot in summer and freezing in winter. Cold, draughty and damp houses in the south, and hot, humid houses in the north exacerbate health problems, with over 2,400 deaths each year in Australia associated with periods of cold weather – higher than the percentage of deaths linked to cold weather in Sweden.” The Senator has gone on to say “Under this plan, public and community housing renters such as single parents, seniors and young people could save as much as $1075 per household per year, while reducing their carbon footprint.”

The current estimates are $240 million for the total cost of the scheme that would ensure:

  • Put 2kW rooftop solar systems on every roof with;
  • Retrofit homes with energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, window glazing, smart meters, water efficient appliances and showerheads, roof and wall insulation, ceiling and ventilation fans, efficient heating and cooling, low-cost sensors, and draught-proofing;
  • Add secure screen doors and window fittings for cross ventilation
  • Provide energy efficiency assessment, education and advice to tenants on how they can make behavioural changes to help save energy in the home
  • Provide a training, employment and education package for tenants interested in developing skills in clean energy, to employ at least 5000 tenants over the rollout of this package.

Here are some really interesting facts on the State of Solar and Homes in Australia according to the Greens website:

  • 421,300 social housing dwellings in Australia, including 326,600 public housing dwellings, 72,000 community housing rentals, and another 27,500 community indigenous housing dwellings and state-owned and managed indigenous housing dwellings.
  • 19% of Australia’s homes now have Rooftop Solar PV – with over 1.4 million rooftop solar systems installed and about 70% of homes have insulation, but low-income households are missing out
  • 39 jobs are directly supported in Australia for every 1 megawatt (MW) of solar installed.
  • The number of jobs in the Australian solar industry has almost halved under the current government, falling by 48%

You can read the entire Greens Renewing Public and Community Housing plan here: http://greens.org.au/renew-community-housing.

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