Repealing the Carbon Tax is just the start to lowering energy bills: Insulating properties in Australia would save $500 million per year

By Knauf Insulation
July 18, 2014

Uninsulated properties are costing Australia around $500 million per year.

  • 1 in 5 tenants do not even know if their rented property is insulated
  • Around 1 million Australian properties still have no insulation
  • Electricity bills have increased by 72% since 2007
  • Knauf Insulation project saves Birdsville homes 20% on energy costs

The repeal of Carbon Tax by the Abbott government is a move that will hopefully reduce household energy bills, however, the decision just scratches the surface of how Australians can reduce energy costs. Figures from Knauf Insulation show uninsulated properties in Australia are costing the country around $500 million per year, with energy generated to keep these properties cool in summer and warm in winter disappearing out of underfloors, ceilings and walls.

Despite the cost of energy rising at an unprecedented level, those renting properties are worst affected - 1 in 5 households who rent do not know if they are wasting money heating and cooling an uninsulated property. This figure is almost twice the proportion of homeowners who are unaware.1

On average, a family living in an uninsulated building will spend around $450 per year more than they need to on energy2; with the cost of electricity having already risen by 72% since 20073. Moreover, the demand for energy has also risen - electricity used for heating and cooling properties in Australia has increased by 89% since 2000, which can probably be attributed to the staggering 8.5 million air conditioning units installed in Australian homes4.

Knauf Insulation estimates there are over one million homes still without insulation. Ravi Chandra, General Manager for Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy at Knauf Insulation Australia and New Zealand says:

“The axing of Carbon Tax will give consumers some relief against increasing household bills but it’s only the beginning – there’s still a long way to go. While the Carbon Tax is dead, rising energy costs remain alive and kicking, burning a hole in the back pockets of millions of Australians. The heavy lifting needed to protect homes from rising energy costs starts now.

Knauf Insulation manufactures a wide range of glass mineral wool products for a wide variety of applications.

What axing the tax won’t fix is that almost nine out every ten Australian homes were built before minimum energy efficiency standards – millions of households are wasting money on energy without even realising it.

Last year, Knauf Insulation took on its own project to help educate Australian’s about the benefits of insulation.  They worked with local residents and the Birdsville council to insulate every viable property in the remote outback town known for its extreme temperatures. New figures show the average residential home in Birdsville has saved over 20% on its energy bills since the Earthwool® insulation went in. Birdsville resident, Neale McShane, saved $138 dollars on his electricity bill for the period October 2013 – January 2014 compared to same period last year.

In total, enough Earthwool to cover a football field was trucked 1500kms from Brisbane to Birdsville and DIY installed into houses and famous businesses such as the Birdsville Hotel and the Birdsville Bakery. Each year in Birdsville temperatures range from 50 degrees in summer, to nearly freezing on winter nights. The elaborate product demonstration, highlighted the huge difference insulation can have on quality of living.

The town most recently won the Tidy Towns Award for Energy Conservation. A short film of the project has been made and is available to view on YouTube.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Energy Consumption Survey, 2012

Energy Efficient Strategies, 2012

Australian Bureau if Statistics, 2012

Institute of sustainable future UTS, 2014