The purpose of this briefing paper is to explore the context and challenges that exist in providing low carbon homes for households on low incomes, and to draw attention to the key issues for practitioners working in the field. The issues surrounding energy efficiency and low-income households are complex and need careful consideration if innovations and interventions are to be implemented effectively, whilst ensuring that good social and environmental outcomes are achieved.
The details of these issues will be addressed by speakers and attendees of the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRC LCL) National Forum on Low Carbon Homes for Low Income Households to be held at University of Wollongong (Innovation Campus) on 8 August 2018. The forum will be of significant interest to government agencies, social housing providers and tenant advocacy groups, university researchers, architects and building designers, and the construction and utility industries. The forum will provide the opportunity to explore a range of issues and solutions including:
- The provision of cost effective, decentralised, renewable energy generation for low-income households - from private homeowners through to social housing tenants;
- New-build construction and retrofit solutions to improve energy efficiency in low-income homes;
- The positive health impacts of low carbon, energy efficient homes demonstrated through initiatives such as the Victorian Healthy Homes and NSW Government Programs;
- Policy approaches and dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders such as: energy providers, community health workers, tenant support groups, technical experts and academics;
- Impacts of existing and proposed energy policies on low-income households, such as voluntary/mandatory building efficiency disclosure, tariff structures and safety nets; and
- Energy justice and equity for low-income tenants, home owners and renters.