Climate change and consumers

The government needs to play a much greater role in helping households to improve energy and water efficiency.
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  • Updated:6 Mar 2009

02.Recommendations made by the energy and equity report

Recommendations made by the Energy & Equity report


Download the CHOICE, ACF and ACOSS report Energy & Equity – preparing households for climate change: efficiency, equity, immediacy


Improve energy efficiency for households by addressing awareness and behaviour, home modifications, standards for buildings and appliances, and upgrades for equipment and appliances.

A massive new national program could leverage significant private sector investment to retrofit all Australian homes within a generation. Such a program should aim to retrofit five percent of existing homes a year and should include:

  1. Effective and regularly evaluated education campaigns on the most effective means to achieving, and subsequent benefits of, energy and water efficiency.
  2. Home audits of energy and water use that result in recommendations for behaviour change and physical improvements and referral to sources of assistance.
  3. Financial and other assistance for low income households to implement measures that improve water and energy efficiency.
  4. Improved labelling on products and appliances so that initial and second hand purchasers can make informed decisions about energy efficiency at the point of purchase.
  5. Financial and taxation incentives to encourage landlords to retrofit properties to improve energy and water efficiency.
  6. Improving energy and water efficiency in public housing.
  7. Mandatory energy efficiency standards in all new buildings.


Implement an equitable and efficient emissions trading scheme that drives emission reduction. A well designed emissions trading scheme should have environmental integrity, provide business certainty and guarantee social equity. An emissions trading scheme should be designed and have regard to complementary measures that:

  1. Improve energy efficiency for households that account for awareness and behaviour, home modifications, standards for buildings and appliances, and upgrades for equipment and appliances.
  2. Develop tariff structures that appropriately recognise the essential nature of energy and water while pricing to encourage efficient consumption.
  3. Establish safety net provisions to ensure that low income households have the opportunity to improve efficiency but are not burdened with price increases for essential services. One way to do this would be through the recycling of revenue from permit auctioning from a well designed emissions trading scheme. The revenue could be used to provide assistance and incentives to adjust, compensate those low income households who are adversely affected, encourage research and economic development.

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