Coalition of Civil Society, Environment and Faith Groups Launch Eight-Point Climate and Cost of Living Plan

Queenslanders renters could save up to $3,200 per year with better access to clean technology.

A coalition of civil society, conservation and faith groups have today launched a new eight-point plan to address cost of living pressures on Queenslanders through investment in climate solutions.

The new Power Together coalition includes Queensland Conservation Council (QCC), Queensland Community Alliance (QCA), Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Solar Citizens, the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland and Anglican Church Southern Queensland (Social Responsibilities Committee), with support from research partners the Griffith University Climate Justice Observatory and the QUT Centre for Justice.

The new report, Powering Our Future: An Action Plan for Qld's Cost of Living and Climate Challenges includes an urgent call for the Queensland Government to further increase the $200 electricity bills rebate to vulnerable Queensland households while electricity costs remain high.

Additional immediate Government action must also include assistance for vulnerable social housing tenants slash their power bills with better access to renewable energy, the rollout of solar on at least an initial 10,000 private rental properties and financial support for households to access clean technology such as solar and storage or for energy efficiency.

A recent report by the Climate Council shows the average Brisbane household can reduce their power bill by up to $1,588 a year with improved energy efficiency and electrification [1].

Analysis undertaken by Power Together has revealed a third of Queenslanders who rent or live in social homes are missing out on up to $3,200 in savings per year because they don’t have equal access to clean technology, like rooftop solar, to slash their bills.

Dave Copeman, Director of Queensland Conservation Council said, “The Power Together coalition is launched today with a clear message for the Queensland Government – action on climate change is action on cost of living for Queenslanders.

“The number one topic on everyone’s mind is how to manage the cost of living crisis and a large part of that solution is literally shining down on us every day.

“If the Queensland Government is concerned about the cost of living, it must implement the 
Powering Our Future action plan and invest in climate action, including renewable energy and storage and energy efficiency.”

Aimee McVeigh, QCOSS CEO said, “The cost of living crisis is seeing Queenslanders going without food, medicine, air conditioning or heating, in order to save money wherever they can.

“Queensland needs to fast track its transition to renewable energy so that more Queenslanders can benefit from lower power prices, sooner.

“It’s vital that the transition to a low-carbon economy not just benefit the wealthy. The Queensland Government should support all Queensland homes to move away from gas appliances, become more energy efficient and power their home with cheap solar energy, as a guaranteed way to help families reduce their bills.”  

Stephanie Gray, Deputy Director at Solar Citizens
 said, “The clean technology we need to help everyone slash their power bills is here, and now it’s a matter of governments making it available, including for the third of Queenslanders who rent or live in social housing,” said Stephanie Gray, Deputy Director of Solar Citizens.

 “In other states governments are investing in solar and storage on social housing and public buildings, and offer financial incentives and no-interest loans for households to invest in solar, storage, and efficient electric appliances.

 “These schemes not only help participating consumers, they also incentivise more cheap solar energy and storage that work to relieve grid stress and bring down power bills for everyone.”

Dave Copeman and Stephanie Gray are available for interview.
Interviews with spokespeople from other Power Together organisations and case studies may be available on request.

Powering Our Future: An Action Plan for Qld's Cost of Living and Climate Challenges report [attached]

The eight-point plan for Queensland’s cost of living and climate crisis includes the following recommendations for the Queensland Government:

  • Commit to continuing and increasing the $175 electricity bills rebate to vulnerable Queensland households while electricity costs remain high.

  • Assist the most vulnerable social housing tenants slash their power bills by rolling out a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) on at least an initial 10,000 dwellings.

  • Facilitate the rollout of solar on at least an initial 10,000 private rental properties.

  • Provide targeted financial support, including interest-free loans and grants for those at extreme risk, for the rollout of household clean technology, such as small-scale solar and storage, energy efficiency upgrades and electric appliances to replace gas.

  • Bring online more publicly-owned renewable energy projects sooner to bring down power bills and improve reliability for Queenslanders. If a further 2,000 MW of publicly-owned solar and wind projects and 500 MW of utility-scale battery storage came online before 2025, it would bring down wholesale power prices and create up to 3,475 construction jobs.

  • Include an enforceable mechanism in the upcoming Renewable Energy Target legislation to ensure Queensland’s targets are met, and there’s ongoing accountability for the rollout of renewable energy and the replacement of fossil fuel generation.

  • Work with the Federal Government and other Australian states and territories to deliver an ambitious National Framework for Minimum Energy Efficiency Rental Requirements, and ensure mandatory minimum energy efficiency rental standards and mandatory disclosure are implemented as soon as possible in Queensland.

  • Invest directly into communities through a purpose built fund  to enable community based organisations to collaborate and organise within their communities, to build energy and climate resilience

Media Contact: Jane Garcia, 0455 111 593 or
Bron Matherson, 0438 844 765