The federal government has launched a project to plot the energy habits of 26,500 people across the country as part of a plan to tackle energy efficiency in low-income households.
The Energy Efficiency in the 3rd Age project was launched by Bob Baldwin, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Industry, on Wednesday, and will include an awareness raising program, engagement with local manufacturers and suppliers to trial new green approaches, and a large research component to intensively monitor the impacts of the energy efficiency technologies and behaviour changes of the project, conducted by the University of Wollongong.
Mr Baldwin said the project, which it has provided $2.3 million to, would identify better ways to improve energy efficiency in low income households and enable them to better manage their energy use.
“This program is our next step to ensure we gather the information we need to create better informed energy policy,” he said. “This government is committed to providing cheaper and more reliable electricity to all Australians.”
Chair of Regional Development Australia Illawarra Eddy De Gabriele said the project would gather data from up to 800 Illawarra households over the next 18 months.
“This is one of the largest research and education undertakings of its kind and it is testament to the skills and expertise we have here in the Region,” Mr De Gabriele said. “The EE3A brings together our internationally renowned university, our most experienced and long-time operators in the aged sector, suppliers and those at the coal face who understand first-hand the issues and challenges facing low income older Australians when it comes improving energy efficiency.”
The EE3A consortium comprises RDA Illawarra, the University of Wollongong, IRT Group, Warrigal, Illawarra Forum, WEA Illawarra, Southern Councils Group and the Royal Freemason’s Benevolent Institution.
The government, Mr Baldwin said, has contributed $55 million to fund 20 projects with total project costs of $72 million assessing Australia’s future energy needs, concluding in mid-2016.