CONSUMERS CALL FOR GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY TO SET HIGHER ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR ALL AUSTRALIAN HOMES
Consumer groups, government, energy industry and researchers came together on 5 September 2018 in Sydney to discuss energy affordability and how to improve the energy performance of Australian homes.
Around 100 people attended the Summit, underlining the importance and urgency of this issue.
There was broad agreement at the Summit that as a community we urgently need policies and programs to ensure that all Australians can afford the energy they need to have a healthy and comfortable home. Energy is an essential service, and integral to delivering the health of people and communities.
Summit participants discussed the consumer harm caused by poor housing, including high energy bills and poor health. They discussed the opportunities to improve the performance of new housing, as well as how we could improve existing homes. Speakers highlighted the need to ensure that low-income consumers and people living in rental properties are not further disadvantaged. Many speakers noted that there are solutions to address these issues but what is needed is a policy framework to enable their implementation.
In recognition that any effort to bring down energy prices must include a focus on the energy performance of Australian homes, a coalition of consumer organisations, including Energy Consumers Australia, signed onto a Communique. Others have signed the Communique since the Summit. The Communique identified that improving the energy performance of our homes will result in:
- lower energy bills;
- improved consumer health and wellbeing;
- improved resilience of the electricity system; and
- reduced emissions.
The Communique calls on governments and industry together to develop a comprehensive, national strategy to improve the energy performance standards of all Australian homes.
These organisations will work together through September, building on the Housing Summit and in consultation with other consumer and community groups and housing experts, to progress this agenda. Energy Consumers Australia has offered to convene a workshop with those groups to develop a plan of action.
The Communique, videos, background information and presentations from the day are available on this page. (Please note there was an incorrect attribution in the earlier version of the Communique that has now been corrected in the online version).
For further information, please contact Kerry Connors, Associate Director of Research at Energy Consumers Australia.
Video: Housing Summit 2018, Highlights