Sunday, September 20, 2009

Take advantage of government assistance to Green your home. Part 1: The Energy Efficient Homes Package

In Queensland the various levels of government offer a number of incentives and subsidies to make your home more comfortable and sustainable. In the first part of a (hopefully) multi-part series we’ll take a look at the Federal Governments “Energy Efficient Homes Package

As part of the economic stimulus package the Federal government is providing $1600 for either ceiling insulation or a solar hot water system. The critical point being that you can only have one or the other, not both.

Importantly there is no means test for this program and it is open to both owner-occupied and rental properties. Furthermore tenants in rental properties (with owner approval) can apply for and organise the installation themselves.
As the restriction on the program is one per address not one per person, owners of multiple rental properties can receive the subsidy for each property.

But what should you choose? Insulation or hot water?
This will depend on what is best for you and your home. Insulation will keep your home warmer in winter, cooler in summer and decrease air con bills. Solar hot water should save around 25% of your electricity bill.

The insulation subsidy is available for uninsulated dwellings or those with minimal ceiling insulation and covers both materials and labour. Householders are required to have a site inspection by, and receive a quote from, an approved insulation installer (to find one in our area search here). The government website recommends you get multiple quotes and check the price against their pricing table to ensure you’re getting a good price. I have been semi-reliably informed that while $1600 should cover all costs for a small 2-bedroom unit it may not for a larger house, so if you are spending your own money as well, don’t get ripped off.

The hot water scheme gives you a $1,600 rebate for installing a solar hot water system or a $1,000 rebate for installing a heat pump hot water system, to replace an electric storage hot water system. It cannot be used to replace gas or another solar system.

Overall this program provides a great opportunity to Green your home, increasing your level of comfort and decreasing your carbon footprint.
For more information about every aspect of the program see the FAQ page.

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