How to save $6000 on your energy bills

You could save as much as $6000 annually on your energy bills by making a few ‘quick-fix’ upgrades to your home, according to new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

ACOSS is calling on the government to implement subsidies for home energy upgrades for low-income households in the upcoming federal budget later this month.

A report commissioned by the group, conducted by Springmount Advisory, found customers in some of the nation’s lowest-income electorates could save thousands on energy bills by making a few relatively simple upgrades to their homes such as improving insulation, installing electric heat pumps and installing rooftop solar.

They also want the federal government to work with the states to implement minimum energy performance standards for rentals.

How much could you save?

The analysis found the average free-standing house in Victoria could save as much as $4053 per year, while those in apartments could save $2276. Savings for NSW residents living in a house could amount to $3373 and $2333 for people in apartments.

People in the ACT could save up to $5975, Tasmanians up to $4123, South Australians up to $4123, Queensland residents up to $2740 and up to $2865 in WA.

ACOSS found five of the 10 electorates that would benefit the most are in SA, with the rest across Victoria and Tasmania.

On a larger scale, the analysis found upgrading all households in the lowest 20 per cent income bracket would produce annual electorate-wide energy bill savings of $44.3 million for the seat of Grey (SA), followed by $42 million for Barker (SA) and $40 million for Mallee (VIC).

What will the money be used for?

ACOSS says it wants the government to establish a ‘Special Purpose Funding Vehicle’, with an initial government injection of $2 billion over four years, to be matched by the states and territories.

Specifically, they want to top up the existing $300 million social housing energy upgrade funds so that all social housing dwellings have home energy upgrades by 2030-31.

They also want government to provide assistance for low-income owner-occupiers through a combination of subsidies and zero-interest loans to make necessary upgrades to their homes.

The report recommends upgrading private rental properties through a combination of mandatory energy performance rental standards and conditional incentives via subsidies, concessional loans and rental caps.

Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO, says poor home energy performance is a significant drain on low-income households.

“Poor energy performing homes are costing households thousands of dollars each year and contributing to climate change,” she says.

“Millions of people on low incomes, including income support, are sweltering through summer and freezing through winter because they cannot afford to keep their homes at a healthy temperature. They are forced to choose between eating, paying for medicine or their energy bill.”

Nation’s most vulnerable

Ms Goldie points out the government is already investing heavily in large-scale energy efficiency projects for industry and manufacturing as part of climate mitigation efforts – so should be able to extend that investment to some of the nation’s most vulnerable people.

“A commensurate funding package to support households and communities to participate in and benefit from the [climate] transition is critical to build social licence and ensure no-one is left behind,” she says.

“We are calling on the federal government to inject an additional $2 billion over four years – matched by the states and territories and topped up by other sources – to accelerate and scale up energy upgrades for low-income housing.”

How good is your home’s energy performance? Do you think it’s a good idea for the government to invest in improving energy efficiency in homes? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Also read: Take back control of your energy sucking energy appliances

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. Maybe but I think most of the spending would not provide value for money. Old homes are what they are but newer homes and all new builds should all be made energy efficient and incorporate solar power and hot water. So I partly agree depending on the age and condition of the home.

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