Energy, Equity and Climate Change
Climate change is one of the greatest risks facing our world. Many of the impacts disproportionately affect communities where poverty and disadvantage are concentrated. Low-income households are also struggling to afford the energy they need to heat or cool their homes.
Climate change is already impacting on Australians and will become a bigger risk in future. Older people, infants and people with disability, especially those who live in poor quality housing or who can’t afford air-conditioning, are particularly vulnerable to the increasing impacts of heatwaves. Low-income households are also often under-insured, risking losses from extreme weather events such as severe storms, floods or bushfires.
Many Australians cannot afford to invest in home appliances, heating and hot water systems that would cut their energy costs. Renters who rely on their landlords for energy efficiency upgrades can face even greater hurdles.
Our research and policy work seeks solutions that will enable people on low incomes to respond to the effects of climate change. We want to ensure that energy remains affordable by developing policies to address high network charges and retail costs, and by supporting programs that help people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.