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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Get the Government to help make your house more sustainable (and save money as well)!

By Eilleen
Consumption Rebellion

Hello everyone,

I had posted this earlier in the week in my personal blog, and one of my readers commented that not many people knew about this initiative so I thought I'd post it here too.

Note that this initiative is in addition to the various State and Territory initiatives out there (the ones that give us free eco-friendly lightbulbs etc).

If you:
  • live in Australia permanently,
  • earn less than $250,000 per annum, and
  • a home owner (or primary leasor of the home),
then you are entitled to a 4-year interest-free period loan of up to $10,000 to make your home more sustainable. Its interest-free because the Government will pay the interest for you. You can take out the loan for a longer period but after 4 years then you'd have to pay the remaining interest on that loan.

So this is how it works.

1. You call the Sustainability Assessment hotline on 1800 895 076 and make an appointment time for an assessor to come to your house.

2. The assessor comes to your house, inspects the house and if you want to, you can discuss your energy bills with him/her. Then that person makes recommendations on how to make your house more sustainable. The recommendations range from really simple (and cheap) to more expensive to implement.

3. The recommendations will be listed in an official report for you. You can then take out a loan to implement any of the recommendations.

If you want to read a bit more about the Green Loans Program, check out this page: http://www.environment.gov.au/greenloans/index.html

Anyway, I got a lot out of my sustainability assessment today - I don't have the report yet, but already I know that my roof insulation is no longer working (I didn't realise that when roof insulation gets too compressed (by gravity and time) then it no longer works. I also have gotten some tips on how to put seals on my doors and even my oven door!

I'm about to head out now to the hardware store to put seals on my doors and repair the oven door seal (I didn't realise how easy it was to do this - the guy showed me and I was amazed that I never thought that I could actually repair something as easy as a seal).

I'll also be placing a fabric strip in between my curtain rods and the wall to make my curtains work better as an insulator.

All of these things will not only make my home more energy efficient, but hopefully will help me cut my energy bills.

Now as I've said, the above is in Australia only but I know we have many readers from many countries here. So if you know of an initiative or program that helps people make their homes more sustainable, please comment or use the widget below so everyone can find out about the help they can get out there!

6 comments:

Melinda said...

Wow - that's fabulous!! I wish we had something like that. Our local utility companies are beginning to offer free energy audits, but there is no financial incentive yet. We also had a federal tax rebate for solar panels, but that has expired, and I'm not sure whether or not it will be reinstated (it's only for people and businesses who can afford the solar, anyway). Sometimes moving to Australia doesn't sound like a bad idea....

Melinda said...

Oh, "we" in this case means the US. :)

Cynthaz said...

Don't get too excited folks. We rang up about this but because there's no assessor in our area we can't get one. There's a set number of loans available too, and once they're all given out there won't be any more.

Energy Savers said...

This is a great idea. Every little bit helps especially if the government are chipping in.

Chookie said...

Any idea what kind of insulation you have that is no longer working, and how old it is?

Rockwool (or glasswool) batts should last the life of your building. That's what we have -- at the time of installation, they didn't cost much more than fibreglass batts (which I didn't want to use).

Melissa said...

We have applied for this - I don't think the gov will advertise it now that the interest rates are going up and they are cutting back on the stimulus package.

I think the programme is really awesome. Our assesser was extremely passionate about environmental issues and 'walks the talk' already and I learned a lot from him.

The only downside is that it's been 2 months and we're still waiting for the report to get the ball rolling and get our solar hot water.