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Improving health and wellbeing with greater energy efficiency

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At a glance

Project
Climate Safe Homes
Organisation
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Grant Type
Initiative Grant
Amount
$150,000 over two years
Initiative
Energy Efficiency & Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Households Initiative

The Brotherhood of St Laurence and Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation have developed a program that reduces the energy bills and temperature related health impacts of our most vulnerable households.

The project will increase the energy efficiency and climate resilience of vulnerable households by providing rooftop solar systems, efficient reverse cycle heating/cooling, insulation and assistance during times of temperature related risk. People with health conditions who are sensitive to the increasing heat of summer or the extended cold of winter will be made a priority to receive support.

The project has reduced costs by working with existing service providers, encouraging discounts from suppliers, utilising state government subsidies and using a small range of energy upgrades, as opposed to costly site-specific energy audits and retrofits.

Environment & Sustainability Senior Program Manager Daniel Pediaditis said, “This project is a component of the Foundation’s ‘Energy Efficiency and Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Homes Initiative’. We aim to increase the energy efficiency and climate resilience of vulnerable households to reduce the cost of living, reduce emissions and provide protection from temperature related health impacts.

“The broader Initiative is also seeking to secure higher energy efficiency standards for new homes in the National Construction Code, as well as the associated measures for existing homes and appliances. Improving building efficiency is consistently identified as a ‘least-cost’ option for reducing emissions across the Australian economy.

“These households are particularly vulnerable to COVID19 impacts. Their pre-existing health conditions make them more susceptible to contracting the disease and experiencing severe health outcomes, so self-isolation will likely be more pronounced in this part of the community. Equally, people referred to the program will likely have compounded economic pressures from unemployment or underemployment, where utility cost savings will really help.”