Page 2276 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate is being utilised to provide building shell improvements and solar hot water systems, and to replace inefficient white goods in properties managed by community organisations. Approximately 500 properties so far have benefitted from this expenditure, and a further 200 will benefit before the end of this year.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?

MS PORTER: Could the minister please detail the environmental and cost saving benefits to public housing tenants?

MS BURCH: To respond to the rising energy costs and the impacts of climate change, the ACT government continues to focus on environmental, social and economic objectives to improve household energy outcomes for low income and disadvantaged households.

Housing ACT continues to install physical building shell improvements designed to improve energy efficiencies. These are implemented in a way that is conducive to good energy efficiency behaviour—for example, ceiling and wall insulation, as ceiling and wall insulation potentially has the greatest impact on energy use—by allowing tenants to turn down their heaters and hence reduce the cost.

Water-efficient shower heads are also being installed. A standard shower head uses 15 to 25 litres of water per minute—

Members interjecting—

Mr Barr interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. Mr Barr, thanks. Let’s hear from the minister.

MS BURCH: Can I continue?

MR SPEAKER: Yes. Please do continue.

MS BURCH: However, water-efficient shower heads reduce usage to about seven litres per minute. It is estimated that this will save the average household 14½ thousand litres per year and help reduce gas water heating costs by 47 per cent.

To assist households to transition to a low carbon future, reduce impediments to the uptake of energy efficiency and make buildings more energy efficient, Housing ACT has commenced a trial to measure the effectiveness of various energy efficiency initiatives involving energy efficiency inspections. After completion of these inspections, some properties will have improvements to the building as recommended by the assessors, and some will have energy-efficient appliances installed.

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, a supplementary?

DR BOURKE: Minister, could you provide some detail regarding what additional benefits the recent $2 million increase to this program will deliver?

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