100 Energy Champions Plug into Cost Savings Thu 5 July 2012 Cassy O'Connor Minister for Human Services Download hi-res version Housing Tasmania's 100 Energy Champions pilot program is successfully helping Tasmanian families cut their household energy use and power bills. The Minister for Human Services, Cassy O'Connor said the survey feedback from the first three months of the program showed very encouraging results for low income Tasmanian families with the second survey currently underway. "Tenants are really benefiting from the energy efficiency upgrades and solar hot water systems they received with an average energy reduction of 8.4 kWh a day - or a saving of around $610 a year," Ms O'Connor said. "This exciting program, the first of its kind for Housing Tasmania, is helping to counter the rising cost of living for Tasmanians on low incomes." Ms O'Connor today visited the home of Ms Vanessa Brewer, who is realising real benefits as a participant in the 100 Energy Champions program. "Ms Brewer has seen a drop of 4.2 kWh a day in her energy consumption after the property assessment and minor upgrades, compared to the same period last year - this is a saving of around $300 a year. "In addition to this, her household's hot water energy use has dropped by 2.7kWh a day, making an average combined drop of 7kWh a day giving a total yearly saving of around $510 a year. "That is a lot for a low income family at a time when the cost of living is rising." In Ms Brewer's home, Sustainable Living Tasmania and Housing Tasmania replaced 14 light globes with efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, upgraded her shower head to a nine litres a minute model, sealed three unnecessary wall vents that were letting cold in, installed a new solar hot water system and shared information with the family on energy saving living choices. "Sustainable Living Tasmania surveyed all Energy Champions after the first three months and feedback shows energy use reducing and tenants are finding their power dollar is lasting longer. "This program is also about giving tenants information they can use to change their energy use patterns to use less power - and encouragingly survey results show more than 80 per cent of participants have made behavioural changes," Ms O'Connor said. The first stage of Energy Champions provided 107 eligible volunteer households with a free energy assessment of their home by Sustainable Living Tasmania. The second phase identified those households that would benefit most from solar hot water and installed 100 new solar hot water systems across the state. "The State Government is serious about tackling the rising cost of living with the approval for a further $6 million investment in energy efficiency in public housing properties in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years," Ms O'Connor said. "$3.5 million will be spent on the next stage of Energy Champions, and will roll out soon, informed by the results of the pilot program. "It will target up to 2000 public housing homes with minor energy efficiency upgrades, education, and associated power saving investment.