In tonight’s Federal Budget for 2023-2024, Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced an updated Household Energy Upgrades Fund, designed to support Australian households looking to improve their homes to make them more energy efficient and sustainable.
The $1.3 billion Household Energy Upgrades Fund will create low‑interest loans and fund upgrades to social housing to improve energy performance.
The Fund will inject $1 billion into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to unlock more than 110,000 low‑interest loans for energy‑saving home upgrades, in partnership with private lenders.
There are no details at this stage on what the interest rate would be on these loans, but during the budget speech, it was mentioned this would support double-glazing and solar panels for more homes.
In Victoria, we’ve had the Solar Homes Program for a number of years that offers a rebate on Solar Panels, Hot Water systems, Solar Battery Rebates and more. While there was not specific detail on home battery storage, this is one area that could yield the biggest result for homes, in terms of reducing energy costs.
The Fund will also provide $300 million to partner with states and territories to make energy performance upgrades to social housing.
This energy investment in social housing is expected to cut the energy needed by 60,000 social housing properties by one‑third and give tenants savings on their energy bills.
Better information on energy-saving opportunities
The Government will improve the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme and expand it to existing homes, meaning people can soon get a star rating of their home’s energy performance — helping Australians make the best choices for their hip pocket when it comes to renting, purchasing or renovating their homes.
The Government will also modernise and expand the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards program to make it easier to choose cheaper‑to‑run appliances and support emissions reduction.
Energy bill relief
The Government is partnering with state and territory governments to deliver up to $3 billion of electricity bill relief for eligible households and small businesses.
From July 2023, this plan will deliver up to $500 in electricity bill relief for eligible households and up to $650 for eligible small businesses.