Page 3199 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022
MR DAVIS: Minister, how is the ACT government supporting Canberra’s renters in our transition from natural gas?
MR RATTENBURY: Encouraging gas to electric upgrades in rental properties is more complex than with homeowners, because of what is commonly known as the split incentive, where the cost of course sits with the landlord but the benefit predominantly sits with the tenant, certainly in the short-term. For landlords, it can be a matter of capital improvement, but that is certainly not the way that it is commonly perceived.
Landlords can of course access the ACT’s interest-free loans under the Sustainable Household Scheme, where they can receive up to $15,000 to use on the property that they might own. That can be used to transition from gas to electricity if landlords want to. The government also has other programs that seek to support renters with their energy efficiency. As we discussed in some detail in estimates, there is the move to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties. The government is continuing to finalise the preparation of those regulations, and we expect to have details of that ready to share with the community soon.
MR BRADDOCK: Minister, since the start of last year, approximately how many households in the ACT has the government assisted to get off gas?
MR RATTENBURY: Mr Braddock, I do not have an exact number for you, but I can say that the ACT government assists many households each year to improve their energy efficiency and to switch from gas to electric appliances. Because the programs assist both with energy efficiency upgrades more broadly, and these may or may not result in a gas disconnection, and with direct gas to electric appliance upgrades, more specifically, we do not have the exact number of households that have been supported to get off gas.
But certainly in the data that comes through on the Sustainable Household Scheme there is a clear number of households that are making those transitions. Also, from the data that Evoenergy has, we are seeing a reduction in gas usage per household, and certainly the number of connections and disconnection is giving us indications. But there is more work to be done in gathering data in that space as we move through developing the gas transition policy over the coming years.
MR HANSON: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, the latest annual report from the Education Directorate shows that NAPLAN targets for ACT students were not met between 2019 and 2021 for reading and numeracy across all year levels. Recognising the impact of COVID, what plan is in place to assist students who have fallen behind during these years?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Hanson for his question and note that the last couple of years in education across the country have been impacted by COVID. The way that education has been delivered changed over the last couple of years. In particular, a