Energy efficiency saves money and promotes well-being
Cutting energy bills can improve the home comfort, health and well-being of low income families, according to new research.
As well as saving money, reducing energy usage and being environmentally friendly made people feel better about themselves, according to study by The Brotherhood of St Laurence.
“Many participants said installing energy-saving devices, as well as advice and information on how to save energy had helped them save money, as well as made them feel they were doing something positive about energy efficiency,” said researcher Dr Victoria Johnson.
The study provided home energy audits and retrofits to 1000 people on low incomes in the Moreland area. Typically, the retrofits included draft sealing, replacement of lighting with low energy globes and upgrading shower heads to more efficient models.
“The programs lead to environmental action, with 68 per cent of participants undertaking pro-environmental behaviours such as turning lights out and washing in cold water. Almost 60 per cent of interviewees said their participation in the program had improved their own health and well-being or that of a household member,” Dr Johnson said.
AMES General Manager Settlement Ramesh Kumar said many AMES clients were on low incomes and might benefit from improved energy efficiency in their homes.