Reducing carbon emissions and cost-of-living pressures
A campaign to decrease energy bills for tenants will launch on Saturday March 11. Friends of the Earth Sydney’s Bill Busters campaign is pushing to have energy efficiency standards for tenants’ homes introduced by the state government. It aims to see both a reduction in carbon emissions, and in cost-of-living pressures for lower-income households.
“Rental housing is notoriously energy inefficient,” said spokesperson Alex McInnis. “Landlords don’t pay the electricity bills, so they don’t have any incentive to provide basic, necessary upgrades.”
Poor energy efficiency standards cause a strain on the electricity network at peak times, stretching supply and increasing prices across the network.
NSW residents are facing rapidly increasing energy prices, with the cost of record temperatures and the effect of former premier Baird’s energy grid privatisation hitting households at the same time. Climate change is projected to mean higher temperatures and more unpredictable weather, meaning that the cost of keeping homes warm, cool, and comfortable will increase.
“Low-income households should not be forced to pay for a crisis that they did not cause,” said McInnis. “The cost of climate change should be paid by those who caused it – big polluters.”
Some of the measures that landlords can put in place include blackout blinds, awnings, insulation, curtains, and protection from drafts.
The summer of 2016-17 has been the hottest on record, the Bureau of Meteorology recently announced. Without the necessary policy changes, more energy will be used mitigating increasingly extreme weather events, and more emissions released as a result.
The campaign will launch at a community forum Saturday March 11 from 3-5pm at The Settlement, 17 Edward St, Darlington. The forum will hear from speakers in public housing, private rentals, and community groups. Tea and food will be provided and children are welcome.