Empowering householders to save money
This month, the CSIRO EnergySavers behaviour change pilot project starts in Brisbane and Melbourne. Around 20 separate groups of people from low income households will come together every few weeks, where they will learn how they can improve energy efficiency around the home and, importantly, save money.
Drawing on a range of data sources, including focus group discussions with low income individuals, CSIRO EnergySavers’ materials boast tailored information about energy efficiency and climate change, which includes magazine-style booklets, audio-visual ‘how to’ clips and an easy-to-use website.
The project, which is supported by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, continues to be guided by its advisory group, comprised of representatives from government, academia and social service organisations that work directly with individuals experiencing financial hardship, such as the Australian Council of Social Services, UnitingCare, Brotherhood of St Laurence and St Vincent de Paul.
Dr Nina Hall, CSIRO social scientist and project manager, has been developing the program to ensure it provides useful and tailored information to participants.
“We have been guided at each step by our advisory group who have daily, on-the-ground experience working with people who are experiencing financial hardship,” Nina said.
“The program provides a practical and social way of building skills that empower participants to understand and control their energy use. This, in turn, offers the opportunity to maintain comfort in their home whilst reducing costs.”
The CSIRO EnergySavers project is adapted from its successful Energymark program, which has reached participants in around 1500 Australian households, helped people reduce their carbon footprints, lower energy usage and save on power bills.
For further information on EnergySavers, visit CSIRO’s website.