The Southern Cross Climate Coalition

An ambitious plan to give millions of Aussie home an eco-makeover while creating thousands of green jobs and lowering bills has been put forward by an alliance of environment, union and welfare groups today.

Spending $5500 to retrofit a household would save an annual energy bill by an average $429 and save millions of tonnes of carbon pollution annually, while training up to 20,000 workers with new green skills for a low carbon economy.

“We’re focusing on the economic and job opportunities for Australia whilst getting on the front foot on climate change. Australians deserve new green collar jobs, lower power bills and better environmental outcomes,” said Sharan Burrow, ACTU President.

With less than 150,000 new residential dwelling built every year, Australia must tackle the carbon emissions in up to 8 million existing households.

 “All Australians are concerned about climate change and want to be part of the solution. We need action at a national scale that will go well beyond changing lightbulbs and showerheads,” said ACF Climate Campaigner Phil Freeman.

“We’re putting forward a practical and tangible plan to help Australians do their bit and be insulated from higher energy bills, without waiting 2 or 3 years for the introduction of emissions trading,” said Gregor Macfie, Acting CEO of ACOSS.

The Climate Coalition says we must make a start with a large-scale pilot in selected local areas and scaling up to when Australia’s entire existing housing stock could be given a green makeover.

Many of the 20,000 new green collar jobs would be in the trades and construction, where the scheme would generate huge demand for green plumbers, electricians and builders.

By targeting low and middle income houses, it would insulate those households most at risk from rising energy and water costs.