Page 1439 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 6 April 2011

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Housing ACT developed an energy and water efficiency strategy in 2007-08 and water efficiency improvements, such as water saving shower heads, flow restrictors and dual-flush cisterns were installed to over 1,200 properties in under two years. In 2009-10 the strategy was amended to focus on energy efficiency. However, Housing ACT continues to install water saving devices as part of property refurbishments and when fittings require maintenance or replacement. Water conservation measures such as grey water recycling and rain harvesting are included in new developments.

To date, energy efficiency improvements have been undertaken to more than 2½ thousand individual properties. The measures include wall and ceiling insulation, draught sealing, high efficiency gas and electric boosted solar hot water systems, electric heat pump space heating for new dwellings and existing dwellings upon failure, and pelmets and curtain rods are being installed in all detached houses as they become vacant.

In June 2009 the Council of Australian Governments agreed to a national strategy for energy efficiency to accelerate energy efficiency efforts, to streamline roles and responsibilities across governments and to help households and businesses prepare for the introduction of a carbon pollution reduction scheme. Under the strategy, Housing ACT has commenced a controlled trial of additional energy efficiency initiatives. Some properties will have improvements to the building shell and energy efficient appliances installed, including a trial range of hot water systems, heating and insulation. Independent assessments of the effectiveness of the improvements will be undertaken and considered in a revision of Housing ACT’s energy efficiency strategy.

The department was provided $1.3 million in mid-2010 and a further $700,000 in March this year from the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water to assist low income households and community organisations to reduce energy consumption and to install renewable energy technologies. This has been spent on building shell improvements and to install highly energy efficient gas and electric boosted solar hot water systems.

Some of the funding has been used to replace old, inefficient appliances in Housing ACT properties head leased by community organisations under the housing assistance program. The opportunities provided to reduce energy consumption to some of the most vulnerable in our community are good and the ACT government will continue to provide positive outcomes for public housing tenants and their families.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks, Mr Speaker. I thank the minister for that response. Could she please outline some of the energy efficiency measures incorporated into the new older persons developments?

MS BURCH: Again I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. Following a review of the housing and community services design brief for the new properties in 2009, and in response to the release of the nation building and jobs plan funding for the new properties, the ACT government has delivered to date 345 properties that meet or exceed a six-star energy rating. These changes will assist low income households to

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