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Congratulations to our latest grant recipients!


Energy Consumers Australia

Energy Consumers Australia is delighted to announce the funding of six new projects through its Grants Program. Congratulations to each of our grantees! We are thrilled to see the impact these projects will have in advancing a more equitable and fair energy system that reflects the needs, wants, and value of household and small business energy consumers.  

Want to get involved? Find out more about our Grants Program.

Better Renting – Healthy Homes for Renters Phase 2, from Policy to Practice: Improving household energy performance to reduce renters’ energy costs

The average energy performance of a home in Australia is just 1.8 stars and rental housing is often even worse. Renters are less likely to have homes with ceiling insulation, efficient heating or cooling, or solar PV. This leads to higher energy bills for renters – and poor health outcomes. Despite recent progress in some jurisdictions, there is still no unified national strategy to boost energy performance in rental homes.  

Healthy Homes for Renters, a coalition of more than 120 Australian organisations, is calling for every jurisdiction to establish minimum energy performance standards for rental properties (including both private rental and social housing) by the end of 2025. With this grant, the project will: 

  • Advocate for nationwide adoption of minimum energy efficiency standards for rental homes, leading to healthier living environments and lower energy bills for renters.   
  • Increase renter engagement and mobilisation to advocate for energy efficiency in rental homes. 
  • Strengthen collaboration across jurisdictions, leading to shared resources and unified strategies for advocating for energy efficiency standards. 

For more information about this grant, contact Joel Dignam: joel@betterrenting.org.au  

Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) – Do consumers have the information they need when purchasing a major household appliance in order to make energy conscious decisions? 

Appliances account for about 25% of household energy use, and selecting energy-efficient models can lead to significant savings on energy bills. However, there is a lack of up-to-date Australian research on consumer decision-making when purchasing large household appliances. 

This project aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the consumer decision-making process when buying a large household appliance, and when faced with a plethora of information and marketing at the point of display/purchase. By providing consumers with high-quality information on energy efficiency, consumers will be empowered to make more informed decisions, and be better protected from misleading claims and potential harm. 

For more information about this grant, contact Marianne Campbell: marianne.campbell@cprc.org.au  

Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) – Balancing act: weighing up local gas decommissioning 

Households will need to go all-electric by 2050 in order to achieve Australia’s net zero goals. However, as Energy Consumers Australia’s Stepping Up report found, without proper planning to address equity issues, consumers unable to leave the gas network will face spiralling costs.  

This project examines whether a ‘strategic decommissioning’ approach for areas connected to the mains gas network can effectively manage the gas transition. The project aims to discover: 

  • How governments and decision-makers could identify locations suitable for early disconnection. 
  • The social factors to be considered (e.g. community sentiment towards gas and implications for vulnerable consumers). 
  • The technical requirements to ensure the disconnection process is safe. 
  • The benefits of a coordinated approach compared to an uncoordinated one. 

For more information about this grant, contact Damian Sullivan: DSullivan@bsl.org.au  

Original Power – Energy security outcomes from uptake of renewable energy by pre-paid meter customers; An assessment of the Marlinja Community Solar Project

Consumers on prepayment meters are among the most energy insecure households in the country, facing frequent disconnections and lacking protections other Australians benefit from. Prepay customers have also long been locked out of the benefits of a transition to lower cost solar energy, further entrenching patterns of energy hardship. In many regional and rural locations, prepayment meters are mandatory for social, public and Indigenous housing residents.  

The Marlinja Community Solar Project seeks to overcome these structural barriers by installing a grid-connected 100kw solar array and battery. The system will use existing household smart meter technology to fairly and directly distribute ‘solar credits’ to community residents, making it the first project of its kind. ECA’s grant will measure the direct benefits for household energy security and unlock new ways to use community microgrids to benefit communities on prepayment meters.  

For more information about this grant, contact Lauren Mellor: lauren@originalpower.org.au  

Original Power – Achieving Equity in Energy Access for First Nations and Pre-Payment Customers 

Prepaid metering is mandated in many regional and rural parts of the country, but, as research by ANU (also funded by ECA’s grants program) has found consumer protections for prepayment customers vary.

In this new project, Original Power will collaborate with locally-based First Nations researchers to uncover the experiences of First Nations communities and people on prepayment meters, and work with the energy sector in the NT, QLD, SA and WA to find solutions to the issues uncovered.  

The project has been awarded a Collaboration Grant and Energy Consumers Australia will be closely involved in the project’s advisory body and advocacy efforts.  

For more information about this grant, contact Lauren Mellor: lauren@originalpower.org.au 

ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS) – ACT Energised Consumers Project: Spearheading the national energy transition  

The ACT is at the forefront of electrification and the energy transition in Australia. This project will expand on previous ECA grant-funded research ACTCOSS has conducted to leverage the energy advances being made in the ACT to encourage knowledge sharing and positive transformation in other jurisdictions and support Australia’s transition to net zero. 

The project will develop an evidence base of successful policies and projects from the energy transition thus far in the ACT and share these insights and lessons more broadly. The project will also seek to understand the needs of vulnerable and marginalised ACT energy consumers in a transitioning energy system, ensuring that decision makers have the relevant information to support consumers at risk of being left behind. Using this information, this project will also work directly with the community sector to build their capacity.

For more information about this grant, contact: Jana Farook: jana.farook@actcoss.org.au 

Interested in applying for a grant?

For more information about our Grants Program, including how to apply for a grant, visit here.  

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