ACT government launches tool to help renters slash energy costs

The ACT government is set to provide those renting their homes a new tool for assessing their household energy costs and providing a list of actions that can be undertaken to slash their energy use.

The Actsmart Home Energy Assessment Webtool, announced on Friday by ACT energy and emissions reduction minister Shane Rattenbury, will provide renters with a list of improvements and behaviour changes that can reduce energy use and improve the comfort of their rentals, based on answers given to a series of questions.

“We want to ensure homes are comfortable and affordable for everyone, but renters and people in older homes in the region know how challenging it can be to keep cool in summer and warm in winter,” Rattenbury said.

“This free webtool will suggest the best actions renters can take to reduce energy use on things like heating, cooling, appliances, hot water, lighting, and cooking. Importantly, the webtool also generates a report with steps that the building owner can take, such as installing insulation.”

The ACT government is examining the introduction of higher energy efficiency standards for new homes built in the ACT, to cut operating costs for residents and to improve comfort levels.

The ACT government has also flagged its intention to end the roll out of new mains gas infrastructure and to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations included with new homes.

“Setting energy efficiency standards for rental properties and setting higher standards for new homes are essential to achieving a net-zero emissions ACT,” Rattenbury added. “While those are being developed and implemented, this webtool is something renters can use today to cut emissions, save money and make their homes more comfortable.

“Climate change is making it more challenging to be comfortable in our homes, so I encourage everyone to try this online tool. It only takes around half an hour, so you can try it out at any time.”

The tool will be developed with input from a number of rental advocacy organisations, including Better Renting and the Australian Energy Foundation.

“A highlight to date is the new webtool, which will allow both renters and the wider community in the ACT to easily access tailored advice and tips to improve the energy efficiency of their homes – an essential innovation for the good of the community,” CEO of the Australian Energy Foundation, Alison Rowe, said.

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