Project to improve energy efficiency in Aboriginal communities recognised

A Horizon Power program which assists residents of Aboriginal communities to understand and reduce their energy use was awarded the Community and Regional Initiatives Award by the WA Sustainable Energy Association in March.

The Home Energy Efficiency Engagement and Refit program has been carried out in 14 Aboriginal communities in regional Western Australia with funding from the Office of Energy’s, Hardship Energy Program (HEP).

The program involves visiting every home in the communities, assessing energy efficiency and engaging with the resident on energy education and assisting with changes they can make to reduce their home energy consumption.

This includes an assessment of the physical structure of the home, including weather proofing window and door seals and a roof insulation inspection, as well as education on each appliance in the home.

The engagement involved a conversation with each resident in their home to help them better understand their energy use and changes that can be made to reduce it.

The objectives of the project are to help Aboriginal people lowering their power bills by using power more efficiently, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to assist with the development of new housing design in Aboriginal communities by sharing the results of the work with the Department of Housing.

The project has been funded out of the Office of Energy’s Hardship Efficiency Program, which offers support to customers experiencing financial difficulty, and implemented by Horizon Power’s sustainable development co-ordinator, Fleur Crowe.