Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:39): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. The Andrews Labor government has announced an investment of $797 million to help Victorians cover the cost of their power bills and make homes more energy efficient. My question to the minister is: can the minister provide me an update on the time line of the rollout of this project? This investment includes $335 million to replace old wood, electric or gas-fired heaters with new energy-efficient systems for low-income earners and a further $112 million to seal windows and doors and upgrade heating, cooling and hot water in 35 000 social housing properties. The program will also help set Victoria up for the move to 7-star efficiency standards for new homes and a one-off $250 payment for those facing hardship.
Ms D’AMBROSIO (Mill Park—Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Minister for Solar Homes) (4 February 2021):
The $797 million Household Energy Savings package was announced on 17
November 2020 for delivery over four years from 2020-21 to 2023-24.
The Victorian Government’s plan to invest $335.5 million over four years to provide efficient, lower cost heating and cooling for 250,000 low income and vulnerable households will improve the comfort of homes and deliver ongoing health and wellbeing benefits. Eligible households and social housing providers across the state will be able to apply for this program in 2021.
A one-off $250 Power Saving Bonus will help eligible households with their energy bills. Payments will be available to households with at least one concession card holder, including those receiving JobSeeker, youth allowance or a pension from 1 February 2021 and will be available until 31 January 2022. The payments are limited to one per eligible households and claimants will be able to apply via the Victorian Energy Compare website, an independent Victorian Government energy price comparison site.
$112 million will be invested to improve the energy efficiency of 35,000 social housing properties. The government will work closely with community housing providers to identify eligible properties and deliver the upgrades. The program will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services and will commence early 2021.
$5.9 million will be invested to introduce a new 7-star energy efficiency standard for new homes, building on the current 6-star standard for homes by extending standard to major fixed appliances, such as heating, cooling, hot water systems and lighting. Victoria will work with other jurisdictions to make changes to the National Construction Code to introduce the new standards in 2022. Information on the timing of the new standards will be available in 2021.