Greens senator Scott Ludlam has a plan to put solar panels on more than 500,000 state-owned homes around Australia.
The cost of putting 1.5kW panels on each comes to a cool $790 million over 10 years.
Senator Ludlam—battling to keep his seat at this weekend’s election—says it’s money well-spent and will help reduce “power bills for those who need it most”.
“We will upgrade all public housing stock, including state-owned and managed Aboriginal housing, community housing and indigenous community housing, with solar power systems and measures to save power and water,” the Fremantle-based senator says.
“Two-thirds of social housing homes in Australia were built before 1980—they waste electricity, they waste water, and they’re hard to keep warm. People deserve better than that.
“Many older Australians live in social housing. They should have a home that’s easy to keep warm in winter and cool in summer—and will be much cheaper to maintain.”
He says the Greens policy will also give Homeswest tenants access to jobs and training aimed at getting a job in the “green sector”.
He says the New Zealand Greens fitted 200,000 homes with panels under a similar program.
“Repowering social housing will make a big difference to the lives of so many people,” he says.
“Solar panels can save a household $500 per year, and the difference between a 5-star energy efficient home and a 3-star home is about $1000 a year on your power bill.”
by BRENDAN FOSTER