Australia’s ‘Green Start’ For Low Income Households

Environment Minister Peter Garrett yesterday provided details of a new $130 million initiative called Green Start. 
The program is designed to assist low-income and disadvantaged households in Australia in their water and energy efficiency efforts; including better access to renewable energy options such as solar power under the interest-free green loans program.
According to the Minister, the program will arm people and households with greater knowledge and a range of resources to help them reduce energy and water costs, which are set to rise over coming years as Australia takes on the climate change challenge.
Under Green Start, eligible householders would receive a free home energy and water assessment and supply and installation of minor water and energy efficiency items such as pipe insulation and low flow showerheads. Qualifying households would also receive personalised assistance in accessing local, state and federal water and energy efficiency programs, including government rebates for residential solar power and solar hot water.
As many households in this income group would rent rather than be home owners, the Green Start program would also help householders with landlords, real estate agencies and tradespeople in order implement water and energy efficiency measures.
Mr Garrett said the Green Start program is “..our very, very strong signal that we want all Australians, including those who are less advantaged, to have the opportunity to take on board those energy efficiency measures which we know can make a difference to their pocket-books and to our atmosphere.”
Green Start is expected to roll out across Australia in 2010. The Australian Government is now calling for bids to deliver the program. The details are on AusTender and the tender period will close on 14 January 2010.