Page 3038 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008
some 300 public housing properties. It is a shame Dr Foskey has decided to absent herself because she was interested in this, I thought.
Mr Mulcahy: She has moved out.
MR HARGREAVES: She has moved out of public housing.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves! Just come back to the subject.
MR HARGREAVES: The work includes installation of wall insulation, top-up to ceiling insulation, draught sealers and improved heating and hot water systems, including solar. Anyone that says we are dealing with only 300 houses and that is not enough has not taken into account that Housing ACT is not only retrofitting existing properties but is ensuring new properties meet the high standard of energy efficiency. This is simple when it comes to constructing new dwellings. A requirement of the planning laws in the ACT is that all newly constructed properties must have a five-star energy rating.
When Housing ACT purchases an existing property, its policy is that new purchases have to meet a minimum three-star energy rating. Where a client with special needs requires a house and the most suitable house has a low energy rating, Housing ACT carries out the work required to bring it up to a three-star rating.
I am pleased to say that Weathering the Change is a demonstration of my government’s continuing commitment to improving the energy efficiency of public housing properties. One million dollars was allocated in the 2005-06 budget for water energy savings initiatives. This resulted in solar hot water systems and gas ducted heating being installed in about 30 properties. Over 40,000 low-energy light bulbs were also given to public housing tenants at no cost.
To support our efforts on the property side of things, information on behavioural changes that could be made to make a difference to energy bills and improve energy efficiency was also given to public housing tenants last year. This information, including advice such as ensuring that all doors are closed when the heater or cooler is on, running heaters only when you are at home, reducing thermostat temperature, turning off lights, closing windows, would make a big difference to energy consumption and energy costs.
Housing ACT installs energy efficiency measures as part of its maintenance program. It also has installed water-saving measures under an additional ACT government investment of $500,000 over two years. The water improvements have included installing water-saving devices such as triple-A rated water-saving shower heads, douse valves, boundary limiting valves and other water flow retardants and dual flush cisterns.
On top of the $1 million allocated last financial year, the second instalment of the $20 million, $2.3 million, is allocated this financial year to continue making energy efficiency improvements to public housing properties.