Housing Plus drives focus on efficiency for their tenants

HERE TO HELP: Director of strategy Justin Cantelo, business support officer Breanna Reimer, maintenance support officer Belinda Johnson, property inspector Marc Gleeson and customer service team leader Melissa Bracey.
HERE TO HELP: Director of strategy Justin Cantelo, business support officer Breanna Reimer, maintenance support officer Belinda Johnson, property inspector Marc Gleeson and customer service team leader Melissa Bracey.

TENANTS in Bathurst will be among those who benefit from an energy efficiency education drive from Housing Plus.

The community housing provider will provide tenants of more than 900 properties across Bathurst, Orange and Mudgee with easy-to-understand information on how to reduce their energy use.

“Many low-income households are experiencing, or at risk of, energy poverty through rising energy costs,” Housing Plus director of strategy and business development Justin Cantelo said.

“These households spend a larger proportion of their income on energy bills than other households, particularly larger families, causing significant stress.

“As well as over-consumption, we also see vulnerable and low-income households that choose to ration their energy use, with some avoiding heating and cooling their homes altogether to avoid unaffordable energy costs. This can impact enormously on health conditions.”

The new energy education program aims to help vulnerable tenants better understand their energy use and better access energy concessions, including those made available by the NSW Government through its Home Energy Action Program.

Four fact sheets are available for tenants:

  • Fact Sheet 1: Manage your usage by watching your meter and bill.
  • Fact Sheet 2: Negotiate the best deal with your energy provider.
  • Fact Sheet 3: Cheap ways to make your home more energy efficient.
  • Fact Sheet 4: Replace your old appliances with energy efficient ones.

Mr Cantelo said the fact sheets will be available from the Housing Plus branch offices in Bathurst, Orange and Mudgee, as well as on the Housing Plus website.

The energy education program is funded by a $10,000 grant from Spark Tank, a community competition administered by Skillset with funding provided by the Office of Environment and Heritage.

In March 2017, Spark Tank awarded $60,000 in funding to energy saving initiatives across the Central West.

Mr Cantelo said the energy education program is part of Housing Plus’ long-term strategy to address energy poverty among tenants, which includes the installation of state-of-the-art split systems in tenanted homes to replace inefficient heaters, and draft proofing.

It is being carried out with co-funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage under the Home Energy Action Program.

Housing Plus is also in discussions with Kenjarhy Solar to install solar PV panels on some of its properties.