24 Jun 2016
Dubbo’s Aboriginal social housing tenants are on the road to receiving roof-top solar systems and energy saving programs, designed to slash their energy bills.
The new energy program is being piloted by the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO – part of the Department of Family & Community Services) over the next 8-12 months to cover all 151 of its central-Dubbo properties.
“This important initiative provides our clients with support and services to help increase their financial freedom,” AHO Chief Executive Shane Hamilton said.
“We think the real benefits of the solar systems will be reduced energy and utility bills with increased tenant knowledge and confidence about utility use.
“AHO properties will be retrofitted with rooftop solar systems along side an education campaign for tenants, focusing on how to reduce energy use in the home and access support programs and services.
“By installing solar power, we’re aiming to reduce the financial burden energy costs, and at the same time help the wider community with education about support services to shop around, get the best deal, and access relief schemes.”
As part of the program, the AHO will host a ‘Festival of Energy’ in Dubbo over the coming months.
The Festival will assist residents in Dubbo to reduce their energy bills by providing access to interactive in-home energy use workshops, ‘Bring Your Bills’ sessions, energy tariff talks, financial counseling services and energy-related technology demonstrations.
AHO data from tenants and the sector backs the need for the pilot program, and a recent report by St Vincent de Paul Society using AGL data shows Dubbo has the second highest electricity disconnection rate in regional NSW, ranking sixth out of 50 postcodes across the State.