Call for renewable energy program for low income earners

Colin Fall had solar panels installed on his roof and uses a range of other measures to save energy in his home.
Colin Fall had solar panels installed on his roof and uses a range of other measures to save energy in his home. Brett Mc Waters

PEOPLE on low incomes are being priced out of accessing renewable energy, a Senate inquiry into electricity prices has been told.

United Voice, the union representing 120,000 workers in a range of traditionally low-paid industries, called on the Federal Government to establish a program to help people install renewable energy in their homes.

At a public hearing of the Senate committee on Tuesday night the union also called on all state governments to halt the privatisation and deregulation of Australia's energy markets.

United Voice national secretary Louise Tarrant told the committee low-paid workers were among those hardest hit by soaring energy bills and would benefit the most from access to renewable energy, like solar.

"One million households now have solar panels on their roofs. This is great. Now it's time to ensure low-income households, including home renters, are in the next million to benefit from the solar revolution," Ms Tarrant said.

"It's time for creative solutions. These might include leasing or rental schemes.

"We urge the government to take the next step to ensure that every Australian can access solar power which can bring down their energy bills and reduce carbon pollution."

Topics:  low income earners renewable energy united voice

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