A coalition of industry peak bodies, social service organisations and environmental organisations have come together in support of an economic stimulus program that would see solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades installed on homes across Queensland, creating almost 2000 jobs and significantly reducing household energy bills.
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) has joined with Solar Citizens and Queensland Conservation Council on emPOWER Homes, a $215 million proposal that would see solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades installed on 50,000 social housing dwellings.
The proposal has the support of more than a dozen leading organisations, including the Property Council of Australia, the Clean Energy Council, Mission Australia, WWF, and St Vincent de Paul Society.
QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh says, “The economic challenge of the COVID-19 crisis means more Queenslanders than ever are under financial pressure.
“This proposal would create 1,800 jobs and save Queenslanders on low incomes up to $1,100 per year on their electricity bills that they could then spend in their local economies.”
Solar Citizens National Director, Ellen Roberts, says the proposal will improve people’s health and wellbeing and reduce emissions in Queensland.
“The installation of solar panels on thousands of roofs will increase solar capacity in Queensland by more than 50MW and will help the government reach its renewable energy target by 2030.”
The creation of new, secure jobs and investment in social housing should be top priorities for the government, according to Chris Mountford, Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.
“emPOWER Homes is smart stimulus – it will create good jobs, stimulate markets across the state, and help people who are in need.
Nigel Webb, a social housing tenant for 28 years, says emPOWER Homes is much needed for people who live in social housing.
“Electricity bills are very expensive, and we spend a lot of money each quarter on them.
“Putting solar on social housing will mean we could save money to put toward other essential items and stay cool and healthy during Queensland’s hot summers.”
Find out more about the emPOWER Homes proposal here.