ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: Resource developed to support landlords and property managers to assist tenants to lower utility costs

18 October 2013

As part of its role in Anti-Poverty Week 2013, the ACT Council of Social Service has worked with the Outreach Energy and Water Efficiency Program of the ACT Government Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate to develop a new factsheet targeted at engaging private rental property managers and landlords in promoting energy and water efficiency in their properties.

“Whilst programs and materials target all low-income households and tenants, up until now the pick-up has mostly been in public and community housing. We feel it is also important to involve landlords and property managers of private rentals in the conversation about energy and water efficiency and to support them to work with their tenants to ensure not only lower energy cost for the renter but more efficient and sustainable properties for the owner,” said ACTCOSS Director, Susan Helyar.

"Low income households spend a higher proportion of their income on utility bills than other households. On average, people spend around 4 per cent of their income on these bills. Low-income households are spending more like 6-12 per cent.

"A recent report by the Australian Council of Social Service titled Energy Efficiency and People on Low Incomes identified a series of measures to empower households to become active participants in controlling their energy use. But too often landlords and property managers are overlooked as valuable partners in reducing energy costs.”

To complement the release of the factsheet, ACTCOSS will also run workshops to brief property managers and landlords on this and other resources available, and the benefits of working with tenants to implement energy and water saving measures in their properties.

Susan Helyar concluded, "People living on low incomes are most likely to live in poorly-insulated and inefficient rental accommodation, and spend a higher proportion of their income on utilities than other households. Assisting private landlords and property managers to take a more active role in ensuring both properties and households are as efficient and sustainable as possible is a critical next step in our efforts to reduce both the costs and environmental impacts of energy and water consumption."

Access the Reducing energy and water costs in rental properties factsheet at the ACTSmart website: http://www.actsmart.act.gov.au/your_household/rental-properties

For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987 or 02 6202 7200.