Page 2275 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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look at how we finance these, but our throughput is increasing and our demand for elective surgery is increasing as fast as we are increasing our throughput. So it is part of the solution—not all of it. But I am very confident that Health will be able to deliver the targets that I have set for them, and I stand ready to be measured by them.

Housing—energy efficiency

MS PORTER: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the Minister for Community Services. Could the minister please update the Assembly on progress to date regarding the implementation of the government’s energy efficiency programs in public housing?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest in energy efficiency in public housing. The ACT government remains committed to improving energy efficiency in public housing, thereby reducing the cost of living pressures on those who can least afford it and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT.

There are almost 12,000 properties across Housing ACT, and at least a quarter of these are in excess of 40 years old. A significant number of public housing dwellings have already undergone a form of energy improvement. The aim over time is to bring the remaining stock to a minimum three-star energy rating. To achieve this, various measures have been implemented, and some of these include improving energy efficiency for public housing through the sale of low energy rated properties, purchasing properties with an energy rating of at least three star or higher, constructing dwellings with a minimum of six-star energy ratings built to either adaptable or universal design principles, and improving energy efficiency of the remaining properties through implementation of a range of measure to improve their efficiency.

To date approximately $8.5 million has been expended on undertaking energy efficiency measures across 3,100 properties. That equates to almost 26 per cent of the portfolio. These measures have been funded through the government’s commitment in the 2007-08 budget, which funded $20 million over 10 years to improve energy efficiency in public housing. Energy measures include but are not limited to ceiling and wall insulation, draught sealing, and installation of pelmets and gas and electric-boosted solar hot water systems.

In addition, in the 2001-12 budget, a further $8 million over four years was included to expand the energy efficiency program. Housing ACT is investigating options to expand the current energy measures being installed, with a view to decreasing emissions, increasing the comfort of tenants and reducing the energy costs to tenants. Housing ACT also continues to install energy-efficient appliances, such as five-star gas hot water systems, water saving devices, dual-flush toilets and water saving eco shower heads at its properties funded through its $35 million maintenance budget.

In addition, from 2009 a total of $2 million has been provided by the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate to assist low income households in public housing properties and community organisations to reduce their energy consumption. These funds will be fully expended by December of this year. Funding from the

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