All Australians deserve a healthy, safe, affordable home.
Rapidly rising energy prices over the last decade have left many Australians struggling to afford the energy services they need to live a safe and healthy life. But price is only part of the energy hardship equation – how much energy is needed to meet a household’s needs is a significant factor in the size of a bill and its affordability.
People on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to energy bill hardship, because they spend significantly more of their income on electricity. And yet, low income households most in need of the bill savings typically have little choice or control in improving the energy efficiency of their homes or access renewable energy, because they cannot afford the upfront costs of upgrades and/or because they rent their homes.
With 3 million people living in poverty and an even larger number renting, there is an urgent affordability, health and economic challenge that needs a coordinated, national and ongoing response. Improving housing energy efficiency must be central to any effort to bring down power bills, and address the health and wellbeing of households.