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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 February 2011) . . Page.. 100 ..

a year in terms of their energy and water costs. To give an example of that, the appliance operating cost saving per household or dwelling was estimated at $147 per annum—not insignificant. To cut the cost of running the fridge or the washing machine, the dryer or the heater by $147 per annum is a really significant achievement and one the government is very pleased to have seen implemented as a result of the program.

The government, of course, recognises that it is important to note that these programs also provide additional benefits to those who receive them. They get greater year-round comfort and they get other improvements in the liveability of the premises they are in that cannot be measured in dollar terms but do make a real and meaningful difference for those households who have benefited from these programs.

The savings will continue. Over the assumed 15-year lifespan of the appliances, insulation and the draught sealing that has occurred in these premises, the following results are expected: energy use will be reduced by the equivalent of 15,420 megawatt hours of electricity, sufficient to power about 2,000 ACT homes for one year; greenhouse gas emissions of around 14,000 tonnes; total household operating cost saving of around $1,198,000; and an appliance operating cost saving per household or dwelling of $1,339—just from retrofitting, just from providing more energy-efficient appliances for those on the lowest incomes, for those on pensions, for those on other welfare payments, for those who are unemployed, for those who are struggling with their and their family’s cost of living. That is what this program has done, and it is one that the Labor government is very proud of.

I would like to thank those community organisations that have partnered with the government to deliver these services to those in need—organisations such as the Belconnen Community Service, Communities@Work, the Northside Community Service, the Salvos and Vinnies. All have done an excellent job in pursuing and implementing this program on behalf of the government, and we look forward to working with them further in the future. There is real scope for ongoing partnership in this way to deliver energy savings, cost savings, dollar savings, and, of course, greenhouse savings, through partnering with these organisations and reaching those who are not in public housing but are in community housing or in private rental and who are suffering real stresses in terms of their costs of living.

Of course, there is a range of other programs the government also pursues to ensure that we help those who are on the lowest incomes when it comes to the costs of their utility services. The government continues to support households through the water and energy saving in the territory program, or the WEST scheme, as it is known. Households through this scheme are assisted with energy-saving education and practical low-cost refits of their homes to help reduce their energy and water use.

This program now includes low income households who do not fall within ACAT’s jurisdiction but who are nevertheless experiencing difficulty with paying their water, electricity and other energy bills. These clients are referred by community welfare organisations and by Actew.

Previously, this program assisted mainly tenants of government housing, but the government has now extended its eligibility to assist those people and families who

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