Energy efficiency program to drive financial inclusion

The Victorian Government’s new energy efficiency program, Making Home Energy More Affordable, will have tangible and ongoing benefits for Victorians on low-incomes according to Good Shepherd Microfinance, a leader in financial inclusion and energy efficiency programs.

Making Home Energy More Affordable will enable people to replace old appliances with energy efficient models improving the efficiency of their homes and reducing energy related hardship.

CEO of Good Shepherd Microfinance, Adam Mooney, congratulated the Victorian Government for taking action to help Victorians with their energy bills.

“It’s great to see the Victorian Government respond to feedback from many community organisations about the need to ensure people on low incomes have access to the energy efficient appliances needed to reduce their energy consumption. We’ve now seen both the Victorian and New South Wales governments invest in programs that will do just that,” said Mr Mooney.

“Rising energy costs have been felt by everyone, but people on low incomes are disproportionately affected. The Australian Council of Social Service found households on the lowest incomes spend seven per cent of their disposable income on energy, compared to 2.6 per cent for the highest income households,”[1] said Mr Mooney.

Good Shepherd Microfinance is also pleased the Victorian Government’s program will create energy efficient homes by helping people afford solar panels and retrofit other efficiency measures.

Mr Mooney said Good Shepherd Microfinance’s No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) was a natural fit for Making Home Energy More Affordable.

“Our no interest loans have been enabling people on low incomes to purchase quality, energy efficient products for 35 years. The loans are available from community organisations all over Victoria, so we have a network in place that could help the Government reach and positively impact many people.”

“Importantly, we have a partnership in place with The Good Guys which gives NILS clients access to energy efficient products at discounted rates. Last year our clients saved $1 million off the ticket price, an average saving of 27 percent.

“We hope to work with the Andrews Government to enable people on low incomes to reduce their energy bills and improve their quality of life,” said Mr Mooney.

END

About Good Shepherd Microfinance

Good Shepherd Microfinance is a world leader in financial inclusion products, services and advisory. We offer a range of people-centred, affordable financial programs for people on low incomes, working with 250 community providers in 670 locations across Australia.

Good Shepherd Microfinance is working with the New South Wales Government on the Home Energy Action program which aims to reduce energy hardship experienced by low-income households. We also administered the Home Energy Saver Scheme in partnership with the Federal Government and The Good Guys. This program subsidised 6,537 energy efficient appliances for people on low incomes, including fridges, washing machines and solar hot water systems.


[1] ACOSS, Preventing shock and addressing energy poverty, 2014

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