Helping low-income tenants reduce their energy needs Thu 31 May 2012 Cassy O'Connor Minister for Climate Change An innovative program aimed at helping low income tenants in private rental properties improve their energy efficiency and cut their energy costs is now underway, the Minister for Climate Change, Cassy O'Connor announced today. Ms O'Connor said up to one-thousand properties are expected to be involved in the $900,000 Power Savings for Tenants program, which involves energy assessments and minor retrofit upgrades to private rental properties. "As we head into winter, programs like this will not only help cut energy consumption, but can also help to make Tasmanians on low income living in the private rental sector more comfortable," she said. "They are simple energy savings upgrades that can go a long way towards reducing a tenant's energy usage and by extension their power bills. "Upgrades can include draught proofing of windows and doors, insulating hot water pipes and tanks, adjusting the temperature settings of hot water systems, installing water and power saving showerheads and installing new energy efficient light globes. "Importantly the program also provides tenants with a personalised power savings plan for their household that identifies ongoing behavioural changes to reduce their energy usage." Ms O'Connor said the Power Savings for Tenants program commenced on May 1, and is complemented by a major investment in energy efficiency in Tasmania's public housing system. "As part of the 2012-13 Budget I was pleased to announce an additional $1 million going to measures to improve energy efficiency and ease cost of living pressures on tenants living in public housing, with a spend of $6 million on energy efficiency measures over the next two years," she said. "We've already seen encouraging results from the programs launched through a major reorientation if the Housing Maintenance budget in 2011-12, and I look forward to programs that build on this success over the coming year." Ms O'Connor said Sustainable Living Tasmania has been appointed by the Government to deliver the Power Savings for Tenants program. Through a partnership with with Anglicare Tasmania, Colony 47 and the Tasmanian Association of Community Houses Inc, they are working to identify eligible low income tenants to participate in the program. "So far, 182 tenants have applied to be involved in the program, with 90 households have received assessments and upgrades," she said. "In planning for the implementation of the program, Sustainable Living Tasmania and its coalition partners have been training qualified Home Energy Helpers to complete the energy assessments and upgrades. "Tenants will not only receive the expert advice of the Home Energy Helpers, but they will also have ongoing monitoring of their household energy consumption to identify the savings being achieved." Ms O'Connor said that to qualify for the program, tenants in private properties needed to have a current Health Care, Pension Concession or Veterans' Affairs Concession Card.Eligible tenants can apply to enrol by contacting Sustainable Living Tasmania on 1300 856 740.