The Greens have unveiled a new policy that would provide solar panel installation on all public and community housing in Australia, helping to save low-income earners around $780/year on their electricity bills.

The Australia-wide upgrade of 421,000 public and community buildings by 2030 would benefit more than 800,000 Australians, with the least energy efficient housing prioritised first. It would cost $2000 per house to install a 2Kw solar PV system and the CEFC has estimated annual savings of up to $1075 per household can be made by incorporating the following measures:

  • improving insulation in walls and floors
  • LED lighting
  • adding double glazing
  • induction stoves in place of gas
  • installing secure screen doors to improve ventilation
  • in-home energy monitoring.

The initiative solves three problems at once with a single intervention:

1. Reducing pollution (both CO2 and particulates).
2. Breaking people out of the vicious circle of poverty.
3. Direct improvements to the health of the tenants and indirect benefits to the broader community.

The policy would also provide residents with advice on energy saving measures around their homes and provide a training, employment and education package for those interested in developing skills in clean energy, with the aim of employing at least 5000 tenants over the lifetime of the scheme.

If we are fair dinkum about “jobs and growth” and creating a sustainable future, then we need to seriously consider innovations like these.

Read the full initiative here.