In the move towards low carbon living, the challenges faced by lower income groups are often overlooked. Recent rises in electricity costs disproportionate to income make this a more critical issue. Based on findings from focus group discussions with 164 lower income households and 18 stakeholders across 4 different climate zones in Australia, this paper reveals the barriers that lower income households face in improving their residential energy efficiency and in achieving low carbon living.
While limited financial capacity is generally understood as a significant barrier preventing lower income households from taking up technologies to achieve greater energy efficiency and transition to low carbon living, the authors' findings show that a mix of financial and non-financial barriers exist. These include their ability to afford energy efficient household products, control over thermal comfort and energy efficiency levels of their homes, and lack of access to reliable information. These barriers are revealed to have significant impacts on the household finances, health, and social well-being of these lower income households. The concluding discussion puts forward policy suggestions on how some current assistance and incentive programmes encouraging low carbon living could be adjusted to ensure more equitable access, encourage uptake, and improve low carbon outcomes.
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
Financing the upfront costs of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in buildings can be a significant barrier to the expansion of sustainable, low carbon buildings, despite this being a low-cost option on the carbon abatement curve. Systematic literature on...Read more
This book is a printed edition of the Special Issue Towards Sustainable Global Food Systems : Conceptual and Policy Analysis of Agriculture, Food and Environment Linkages that was published in Sustainability.
This book focuses on the challenge that Australia faces in transitioning to renewable energy and regenerating its cities via a transformation of its built environment. It identifies innovative and effective pathways for decarbonising the built environment from applied research undertaken by the Co-Operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.
This is the second and final report for the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living research project RP3038, Lower income barriers to low carbon living. The first report, Summary of focus group and survey findings, detailed the findings from our focus group discussions with lower income households across four Australian jurisdictions.
This paper presents preliminary findings of a recent research project on the barriers that lower-income households in four Australian cities – Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, and Darwin – face in reducing their carbon consumption, and the impact of programs implemented by federal and state governments and support organisations to assist such reductions.