Property Council welcomes Bill to reduce energy bills for
low-income households

In what is otherwise a dark week for energy policy, the Property Council of Australia’s Chief Executive, Ken Morrison, has welcomed the efforts of South Australian Independent Senator Tim Storer in championing energy efficiency and reducing energy bills for low-income households through his bill introduced to the Senate today, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving the Energy Efficiency of Rental Properties) Bill 2018.

The bill would allow landlords to claim a tax offset of up to $2000 per year during a three-year trial period for energy efficiency upgrades to rental properties leased at $300 per week or less, roughly 30 per cent below median market rent.

“This bill isn’t a silver bullet to make all buildings energy efficient, but it’s an important step to address the split incentive that exists between landlords and tenants, where landlords make the investment in energy saving upgrades, but tenants experience the benefit through lower bills,” Mr Morrison said.

“We welcome efforts to address the split incentive for energy efficiency in rental properties and urge this is the start of a broader conversation by our parliamentarians about the benefits of energy efficiency and the need for targeted policies to support greater action.”

In April, the Property Council of Australia, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Energy Efficiency Council commissioned YouGov Galaxy to survey 1,000 Australians from across the country about their attitudes towards energy efficiency.

“The survey found that Australians want governments to do more to support energy efficiency to help cut energy bills for households and businesses with 88% of voters supporting government investment in energy efficiency.”

Mr Morrison said voters supported a wide range of specific energy efficiency policies, including 84% support for action to upgrade the homes of vulnerable households.

“In recent days we’ve seen the Government step back from their commitment to deliver the National Energy Guarantee, a policy that would bring together energy and climate policy to deliver desperately needed certainty for investment by businesses and importantly, put downward pressure on energy bills for households who are struggling with historically high costs of living,” Mr Morrison said.

“Australia’s property industry is already leading the way on sustainability compared to global peers, but there is an important role for governments to show more leadership and establish more comprehensive policies targeting energy efficiency across the breadth of the nation’s building stock,” Mr Morrison said.

Media contact: Matt Francis | M 0467 777 220 | E mfrancis@propertycouncil.com.au