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New tool to better support Canberran renters

By Bianca Dabu
27 January 2021 | 10 minute read
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The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has recently launched a tool it said will help the territory’s renters to assess their home’s energy efficiency and cut energy costs.

By simply asking a series of questions to renters, the Actsmart Home Energy Assessment Webtool then offers a tailored report that lists the best actions that a household can take to reduce energy use.

The web tool can suggest energy reduction tips on heating, cooling, appliances, hot water, lighting and cooking. It also includes specific steps that the building owner can take to improve efficiency, such as installing insulation.

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According to Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury, this web tool is one way the government is attempting to address the results of a recent survey, which revealed that four in 10 renters are unable to keep their homes comfortably warm.

“We want to ensure homes are comfortable and affordable for everyone, but renters and people in older homes in the region know how challenging it can be to keep cool in summer and warm in winter,” the minister said.

While the online tool has been designed with renters in mind, anyone who aims to reduce their energy bills and make their home comfortable can definitely benefit from it, Mr Rattenbury said.

Addressing climate change

According to the government, the Actsmart Home Energy Assessment Webtool is only one of the territory’s government plans to implement over the coming years as it looks to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties.

The ACT government has also committed to implementing higher energy efficiency standards for new homes, making sure that they are climate-ready, liveable and sustainable, which will address issues including insulation, glazing, passive design, phasing out gas, and the requirement for electric vehicle charge points.

Ultimately, by setting energy efficiency standards, the ACT ultimately aims to achieve net-zero emissions.

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