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Healthy Homes for Renters – minimum energy efficiency requirements for rental properties.

The work undertaken by advocates and other organisations through our Grants Program is having influence in improving outcomes for energy consumers. Great Grants showcase important work that has built new evidence or demonstrated impact. For more information or to apply for grant funding click here.

Very few Australians can say they haven’t felt the bitter chill of winter or the scorching heat of summer while inside their homes, but many of them are not currently in a position to do something about it. Poor housing standards across Australia are costing us billions and putting people at risk of illness and even death.

Energy efficient homes are more affordable to live in and healthier for their inhabitants. For those who own their own home, most invest in making them safer places to be – installing insulation, double glazing or sufficient heating and cooling systems. However, renters (32% of adult Australians or 2.6 million households) can effectively be locked out of these benefits.

This is the problem that Better Renting is trying to solve. Executive Director Joel Dignam tell us the number of renters is increasing steadily year on year but basic energy efficiency standards to ensure healthy homes for renters still do not exist. We are proud to be supporting their project, which aims to receive a commitment by the end of 2021 from state and territory Governments to implement minimum energy efficiency requirements for rental properties.

The impacts of such a commitment would be trifold. A requirement for property investors to make sure their rentals are safe and can be affordably and efficiently kept at a living temperature would not just improve the health of millions of renters but also cut energy bills and reduce pollution. Unfortunately, the lack of such regulations or accountability means that many people struggle to inspire action for change and improvements from their landlords.

This project demonstrates how solving one issue can lead to multiple positive benefits for the community. While some state and territory governments have responded to this call to action, we want to see more states outside of Victoria and ACT commit to change and improvement in this area.

If you would like to add your voice in support of this issue, you can sign the #HealthyHomes petition here.

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