The Albanese and Minns Governments are proudly announcing a $206 million package in energy upgrades, aimed at delivering long-term cost-of-living savings to over 30,000 NSW households. This initiative will significantly improve energy efficiency in social housing properties and provide access to solar power for low-income renters and apartment residents.

Several social housing properties have been recognized as the least energy-efficient homes in the country. Often lacking basic insulation and modern appliances, these homes are in desperate need of energy upgrades. By improving an average house from a 1-star energy rating to a 3-star rating, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 30 per cent, leading to significant decreases in power bills.

In response to this issue, the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments are providing matched funding of $87.5 million ($175 million total over four years). This funding is dedicated to reducing energy bills for tenants and ensuring their homes are cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Over 24,000 homes will be eligible for these energy upgrades, including heat pump hot water systems, ceiling fans, reverse-cycle air conditioners, solar systems, insulation, and draught proofing. Priority will be given to the least energy-efficient properties, particularly older homes built prior to minimum construction standards, along with locations that experience extreme heat and cold.

In addition, the Commonwealth Government is investing $30 million to fund rooftop solar installations on apartments or provide access to a portion of a ‘solar garden’ community energy plot. The ‘Solar Banks’ initiative will deliver rebates of up to 50 per cent of rooftop solar installation costs for multi-unit dwellings.

Low-income households, apartment residents, and renters who cannot install or afford onsite rooftop solar will be eligible for a subsidy to purchase an offsite ‘solar garden’ portion of a large scale solar farm under this deal. More than 10,000 households will be able to access the Solar Banks program, potentially saving each household up to $600 a year.

Furthermore, $1 million will be invested in community renewable energy projects on the Far South Coast. This funding fulfills the Australian Government’s election commitment and will go towards local clean energy projects, creating local jobs and delivering cleaner, cheaper energy to local communities.

These substantial energy upgrades come as joint Commonwealth-NSW energy bill rebates continue to flow. Up to 1.6 million eligible households are being supported with $500 to help pay their electricity bills.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated, “Saving energy means saving money. This $206 million package will enable 30,000 households across New South Wales to access upgrades that will make their homes more energy-efficient. We want all Australians to have access to cleaner, cheaper energy.”

Echoing this sentiment, Premier Chris Minns said, “Our number one priority is helping people across NSW with the cost of living. We are investing to save people money while also getting NSW’s energy transition back on track.”

These energy upgrades represent a significant step forward in making energy-efficient homes accessible to all, contributing to a greener future for our country.

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