Friday, 9 October 2020
The Queensland Government focus on energy efficiency and affordability as part of measures to support Queenslanders during these tough times, says Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland, the state’s Peak organisation for seniors.
COTA Queensland’s Chief Executive, Mark Tucker-Evans, said that energy is an essential service and must be affordable and accessible to all Queenslanders.
“Some Queenslanders including a concerning number of older people are being forced to make choices that can have serious impacts on their health and wellbeing.
No one should find themselves in debt because of the cost of an essential service or having to choose between paying energy bills and meeting other basic needs. Now more than ever we must be investing in more affordable and sustainable energy.”
Mr Tucker-Evans said that COTA Queensland have welcomed energy bill relief and efforts to reduce energy costs from the Queensland Government this year, but that much more needs to be done.
“We are proposing a big push towards energy efficiency. Improving energy efficiency doesn’t just help make our homes more comfortable and improve sustainability. It also can help people reduce their energy bills and can make a real difference for those who are struggling to pay energy costs.”
COTA Queensland’s proposals include re-introducing past measures like free home audits and energy efficiency advice for Concession holders, energy efficiency appliance rebates, and extension of the ‘Solar for Rentals’ program.
“We are also asking for an investment in making social housing more energy efficient, as well as help, including financial support, for Queensland households to understand their options and make changes to their homes.” Mr Tucker-Evans said. “These initiatives will have the added benefit of providing a boost to local businesses providing products and home modifications.”
“Greater energy efficiency and moves towards more sustainable energy benefits Queenslanders now and into the future. This is an investment in a better future for all of us.”
In addition to efficiency and affordability measures, COTA Queensland’s proposals include increasing choice, protections, and information and support for consumers in the energy market.
“Some Queenslanders don’t have any choice of energy provider. Some do have choice but don’t know how, or need support, to take advantage of it to get the best deal. And not all Queenslanders have the same access to consumer protections.” Mr Tucker-Evans said.
“We want all Queenslanders to have access to energy supply they can afford, support to navigate the energy market, as well as choice and protections to ensure they are not disadvantaged, no matter where they live.”