12 February 2023

Sustainability scheme given $50 million boost to spark more environmentally friendly renovations

| Claire Fenwicke
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Roof of a house on which solar system is being installed

Solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles are just some of the environmentally friendly upgrades purchased through the Sustainable Household Scheme. Photo: Mondiaux Solar.

An extra $50 million will be injected into the Sustainable Household Scheme to support environmentally friendly upgrades across Canberra.

The ACT Government said almost 9000 homes had already undertaken sustainability renovations since the scheme opened in July 2021.

A statement said that made it one of the “most popular and successful schemes” in the history of Territory self-government.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said this money built on $150 million already funded in the 2020-21 Budget and will enable the scheme to continue throughout this financial year.

“It’s already supported around 12,500 applicants who have made loan applications across the board,” he said.

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The scheme provides zero-interest loans to eligible residents and community groups to either upgrade their premises or buy renewable energy products in a bid to reduce energy costs and limit the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

This has included installing solar systems, batteries, reverse cycle heating and cooling systems, hot water heat pumps and efficient electric stovetops.

More than 100 new electric cars and nearly 50 used electric cars have been bought with the help of the scheme as well.

Mr Barr said he was also speaking with the Commonwealth government about its commitment to help households transition from gas to electricity and how they could use the existing scheme to progress this promise.

“I’m hopeful that they will make a capital contribution into the scheme as well,” he said.

“Given its success, there’s no point in establishing another scheme; we should just continue the one that we currently have.”

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The result of these discussions could mean the “shape” of the scheme could change to reflect demand.

“I think it’s no secret that the gas to electricity transition will be a primary area of focus for the scheme, both now and into the future,” Mr Barr said.

Guidelines and information about the scheme, including how to apply for a loan, can be found through Climate Choices.

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Graham CLEWS6:20 pm 11 Feb 23

More Environmentally friendly. What does this “more” mean, really? Well it means an on-going tolerance for harm/damage/decline. Rather than prevent further environmental decline by, say, keeping Canberra at the size it is, we are invited instead to tolerate decline with a promise to mitigate it as much as possible.

This is the Barr GROWTH model.

The problem is that it is decline nevertheless, and it continues so long as we grow our population to grow our consumption.

Now, I ask you, what sense or merit can be found in that?

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