The federal Morrison government’s $688 million home building and renovation stimulus has unleashed a torrent of suggestions for how the money could be much more meaningfully spent, with the same “jobs for tradies” outcome Scomo seems fixated upon.
As RenewEconomy has reported, sustainability experts have lamented the new HomeBuilder scheme’s complete failure to drive a higher standard for energy or thermal efficiency standards in building and renovations as a massive missed opportunity.
Even worse, the requirement that applicants to the $25,000 subsidies must be home owners planning a minimum $150,000 spend on renovations or building blatantly ignores the opportunity to vastly improve the living conditions of some of Australia’s most vulnerable people.
So how could these generous cash grants be better spent?
According to a Twitter thread started by green finance expert Jeremy Burke – the head of product and strategy at Impact Investment Group – $25,000 is about what you would need for a full retrofit of a social housing dwelling: “Solar, battery, heat pump, insulation…the lot. Cost savings, health benefits, greater social equity.”
Burke does the sums in the tweet below, putting the bill for all of those basic improvements at somewhere between $20,000-$25,000, depending on the availability of other state-based savings that can be made on retrofits and technologies like solar and storage.
$4,000 – 5,000 for solar (3-4kW)
$7,000 – 10,000 for battery storage (subject to rebates)
$3,000 for air-sourced heat pump (hot water)
$3,000 insulation, air-sealing
$2,500 split-cycle air-conditioning
Around: $20,000 – 23,000 per dwelling
— Jeremy Burke (@jpsburke) June 4, 2020
Rob Murray-Leach, the head of policy at the Energy Efficiency Council, also weighs in.
“Doing the sums and $25k doesn’t just get you a basic energy efficiency upgrade – it gets you a safe, climate-proof, comfortable home,” he adds to the thread.
“With over 2,600 Australians dying each year from cold (twice the rate of cold-related deaths as Sweden) this is essential spend.”
To read the full story on RenewEconomy sister site One Step Off The Grid, click here…