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CEFC backs 300 new solar powered low-income homes for Sydney

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Another 300 solar powered, and energy efficient homes for low-income families are set to be built in Sydney, after another $130 million in finance was committed to the cause by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation this week.

The 300 7-star NatHERS rated dwellings are being built by community housing group SGHC, as part of the NSW government’s $1.1 billion Social and Affordable Housing Fund scheme, which aims to deliver 2,200 new social and affordable homes across metropolitan and regional NSW.

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SGCH – one of five housing providers to be awarded new low-income housing contracts by the NSW government on Friday – is one of Australia’s largest community housing providers, whose sustainability-focused work has been backed before by the CEFC.

In an earlier project, reported here in September 2015, the CEFC loaned $40 million to SGCH to build 200 new energy efficient homes in the NSW capital.

The latest CEFC loan means SGCH can build a mix of affordable housing units in south and south-western Sydney, with features including improved insulation, LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, smart meters and rooftop solar.

The group’s efforts will focus on areas including Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Liverpool, Fairfield, Cumberland and Parramatta.

“This finance is a game changer,” said GCH CEO Scott Langford. “It enables us to build beyond the minimum building standard required and deliver energy efficient housing that is sustainable and reduces energy costs for the tenants.

“The finished dwellings will demonstrate the long-term benefits for the people of NSW, with sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes,” Langford said.

Victoria Adams, the CEFC’s community and affordable housing lead, said the green bank’s combined commitment to SGCH of up to $170 million marks its largest financial investment in an Australian community housing provider to date, supporting the development of approximately 500 energy efficient homes for low income families.

“Community housing is an area where innovative clean energy solutions can have an immediate impact, and lock in lower energy costs for tenants.

“The marginal additional cost of the energy efficiency investment will have long term and ongoing benefits for the tenants, particularly through lower energy bills,” Adams said.  

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  • Jo

    That is $433,000 for building a new house. I suppose without the cost of the land, (why should CEFC finance the land?)
    This looks quite expensive to me.

    • solarguy

      Jo, I think you have a good point, but it seems as the NSW government is building 22,000 homes perhaps the money is for the solar mainly.

      • Jo

        well, this report said 300 homes

        • solarguy

          Yes, but as you suspected $433k for a house is expensive, but if you divide $130mil by 22,000 homes = $5,909 for each house for solar. Perhaps there has been a reporting error?

    • Rod

      Agreed, $433,000 doesn’t sound like affordable housing to me and CEFC finance shouldn’t go towards land.
      It’s pretty easy to affordably improve the energy efficiency of dwellings and mostly involves orientation and controlling solar gain as well as ensuring a tight (ish) envelope.

  • Ren Stimpy

    Well done and just what the doctor ordered, but new houses is still added load on the grid regardless the minimisation of that added load, so we need to find ways to extend this type of programs to retrofitting existing buildings with energy saving technology to begin reducing the load on the grid.

    • Rod

      Showing my colours here, but both the Pink Batts scheme and the price on carbon were proven to reduce emissions and by inference, energy use.
      The beauty of the price on carbon was that low income households were rewarded for reducing their energy use.
      And then the Mad Monk promised them they would be $500 better off per year without a Carbon Tax. We now know how that worked out.

      • Ren Stimpy

        Since Abbott removed the carbon tax electricity prices have doubled. Since then people are no longer looking at their exorbitant (-surplus to essential) electricity consumption.

        • Rod

          Yes, one reason the Carbon Tax was working was it made people think about energy use.
          Now we can blame those windmills.
          Why is it my wife’s tax statement can give a breakdown of where it is spent but my energy bills can’t tell me how it is made up? e.g. 50% poles and wires, 20% retailer, 25% wholesale, 5% “green” initiatives

          • Ren Stimpy

            Goddamn those windmills. Bolt and his three ugly step-sisters (Cameron, Latham, and Dean) are wrecking a lowest cost arrival at the Ball.

            They probably need to ditch the Pumpkin (Murray) and proceed on foot (with their clomping big hooves that won’t ever fit into a glass slipper). It’s their best chance of winning the Prince’s affections.

          • Rod

            I’ll have to admit my ignorance, never being able to sit through a minute of Bolt but did you just call Abbot a Prince?
            They certainly don’t want Trumbull’s affections.

          • Rod

            I’ll have to admit my ignorance, never being able to sit through a minute of Bolt but did you just call Abbot a Prince?
            They certainly don’t want Trumbull’s affections.

          • Ren Stimpy

            No I did not.

            But did these three butt munchers – Cameron, Latham and Dean – have something to say about it? I beg your pardon, Cameron is the biggest butt-muncher, that guy could butt-munch his way through the fucking earth to fucking China!

          • Ren Stimpy

            Happy to be contradicted. But if nobody is willing to do that then Ross Cameron is a closet homosexual. The fucking hypocrite.

          • Rod

            Sorry, I don’t have Sky so can’t comment.

          • Ren Stimpy

            Nah it was just a metaphor gone wrong. I’ve deleted that political rambling. This is my year to quit political discussions. It’s just too infuriating listening to the ignorance on offer these days, and from both sides I might add. They need to develop a patch to get off politics like the nicotine patch.

          • Rod

            Agreed. I too spend too much time and energy getting frustrated by the political landscape both here and OS.
            It really is outside my sphere of influence so I should wean myself off rather than go cold turkey.

  • Ray Miller

    Good to see the CEFC being involved in housing, recognizing the importance and influence on the energy systems. But I question raising the NatHERS rating of 7 stars which is only about 25% reduction in energy over the regulated 6 stars is sufficient. I would have thought going for a reduction of 40% or 8 stars would be have been more worthwhile for 50 year plus life of the dwellings, sending more of a signal of how things can be different.
    But I also caution that the current NatHERS rating using the current simulation software has not included the latest climate record hot years this centenary, effectively dropping the real star ratings (and reducing occupant comfort) which would most likely mean 7 stars would not achieve the bankable savings and safety everyone is expecting.
    I hope this housing project has sufficient over site as it has been proven in a 2014 report by Pitt and Sherry the building industry treats building comfort recklessly. They avoid and compromise thermal elements which are essential to achieve the energy star rating as a sport leading to extreme non compliance which further under cuts any bankable savings. The building industry overcharge and under deliver, as this project is tied to public funds I would be requiring post occupancy proof of performance with significant project dollars held over until full performance is delivered.