Community housing gets a clean energy boost

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Not-for-profit community housing provider St George Community Housing (SGCH) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) have reached an agreement to develop environmentally-friendly social and affordable housing projects.

The CEFC has committed up to $60 million in long-term senior debt to the program which is expected to build over 200 new energy efficient homes, and upgrade a proportion of SGCH’s 4,300 existing, older properties with energy efficient technologies.

The program will enable SGCH tenants to benefit from lower energy costs and allow SGCH to reduce the carbon footprint of its extensive housing portfolio.

“This initiative will help accelerate the delivery of more sustainable and energy efficient social and community housing,” CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said. “With an estimated 400,000 social housing households nationwide, it makes good sense to improve energy efficiency and help reduce energy costs for low income households."

According to ACOSS, the lowest income households spend 7 per cent of disposable income on energy, compared to 2.6 per cent for the highest income households. Improvements to lighting, heating and cooling can make a meaningful difference to household energy costs.

“For our tenants who live on low to moderate incomes, the savings they will see in their energy bills can make a real difference. The more we can save on energy costs, the more we can reinvest into housing for those most in need,” Mr Wetmore said.

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