Both housing and energy are essential services. Everybody deserves a healthy, affordable and sustainable home, regardless of whether you rent or own, what your income level is, where you live, how big your family, what your nationality or culture is, or if you live with a disability.
Around 35% of Queensland households currently rent and this proportion is increasing. Many rental households are low-income households and often live in poorer quality homes, particularly in remote and Indigenous communities. Renting is not just a residential issue with the vast majority of community organisations renting commercial premises and facing the same issues.
There is significant research on the challenges renters face, including the fact that landlords have no price signal, regulation or incentive to raise the standard of their properties. However, there is a gap between the research and achieving policy outcomes in Queensland compared to other states (e.g. the ACT and Victoria). Regardless of what we know is needed, we are not seeing effective policy and programs on the ground. Even when landlords have been offered free energy efficiency upgrades, many have declined.
The Queensland government passed legislation in 2017, giving power to the Minister to introduce regulations on energy efficiency minimum standards, which they have so far failed to do (an election commitment from the Labor Government way back in 2015). Queensland is lagging behind other states (and indeed the world) in action on energy efficiency. That’s why it’s important that we lead a Queensland specific campaign!
The Livable Homes for All Project will advocate for the Queensland Government to implement energy efficiency minimum standards for rental properties, and to commit to progressive improvement over time, thereby looking after the interests of this cohort of customers.
Energy Efficiency Minimum Standards and Mandatory Disclosure for Rental Properties
Energetic Communities has joined more than 80 other organisations in an open letter calling on state ministers to adopt minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties. Rental properties are often of poorer quality, less efficient, and therefore more expensive to keep warm in winter or cool in summer.
We have also been part of the development of a national community sector blueprint, signed by over 80 organisations, that outlines how energy efficiency standards could be implemented. Find the full document here.
Healthy, Affordable and Efficient Homes for All!
Energetic Communities represents Queensland as part of the national Healthy Homes for Renters Campaign.
We have another page diving deeper into how Mandatory Energy Standards in Queensland might work that outlines our key recommendations and yet another page about Make Renting Fair in Queensland!
Here’s some articles on the topic to learn more. We’ve highlighted a key point from the article and then put a link to it.
- Learn about how investment in Energy Efficiency can reduce costs in the long term and stimulate the economy in this article.
- If you rent and have a story to share about how your home has been thermally unbearable or another energy related issue then we can feed that into our advocacy (anonymously or it’s always good to get people who are okay to talk publicly) then we have a survey where you can leave the details here.
- Sign the letter petition calling on the Queensland Government to introduce Energy Efficiency Minimum Standards for Renters.
- If you would like to be part of a theatre project about this issue – then get in touch!