$206 million in energy upgrades for NSW

Tuesday, 23 January, 2024

$206 million in energy upgrades for NSW

NSW social housing, apartment and south coast residents are set to benefit from $206 million in energy-saving upgrades as part of a joint initiative of the state and federal governments.

More than 24,000 social housing tenants will receive grants totalling $175 million over four years for upgrades including solar PV, hot water systems, ceiling fans, reverse-cycle air conditioners, insulation and draught proofing.

The NSW Government noted that some social housing properties are among the least energy-efficient homes in the country, often lacking basic insulation and modern appliances. Upgrading an average house from a 1-star to a 3-star rating can reduce energy consumption by 30% and decrease power bills.

“We are delighted that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Premier Chris Minns have taken up our policy to provide grants to electrify social housing properties,” said Rewiring Australia Executive Director Dan Cass.

“Household electrification is the fastest, most cost-effective way to reduce emissions — and it also decreases the cost of living by significantly reducing energy bills.

“Targeting social homes is necessary to ensure everyone benefits from the bounty of renewable energy regardless of their income.”

The Australian Government is also investing $30 million to help fund rooftop solar installations on apartment buildings, or alternatively to give apartment residents the opportunity to purchase a ‘plot’ in an offsite ‘solar garden’. NSW Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe said the Solar Banks program would support over 10,000 apartment dwellers and renters who have traditionally been locked out of owning solar.

“This is important because 21.7% of dwellings in NSW are apartments and people who live there can’t simply install a solar system on their roof like people in a separate house,” Cass commented.

Finally, $1 million will be invested in community renewable energy projects on the state’s far south coast, delivering on a federal government election commitment. The funding will go to local energy projects, with the aim of creating local jobs and delivering renewable energy to local communities.

Image credit: iStock.com/WangAnQi

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