Stimulating Sustainability Nationally

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Along with the Australian Greens, you may have preferred the Federal Government's recent economic stimulus package to have been spent on infrastructure projects and initiatives that support sustainability and mitigate climate change, rather than cash payments designed to encourage shopping sprees.

The Government has chosen to give people earning under $80,000 a one-off payment of $900*. However you can still choose to use this money to address climate change by increasing your home energy efficiency and minimising water use. Doing this may even save you money in the long run!

Below are just some of the water and energy efficiency products that Australian residents can buy for $900 or less, including rebates from the State and Federal governments. There may also some rebates available from your local council. (These have not been included, so ask your local council about what they offer.)
* Smaller payments are also being made to people earning under $100,000. Information on eligibility and timing for payments is available on the ATO website.

WATER SAVING MEASURES:

Rain water tanks are available for various prices depending on the size, material and design.

FEDERAL: The Federal Government rebate provides:

  • $400 for tanks with a capacity between 2000 and 3999 litres; or
  • $500 for tanks storing more than 4000 litres.

WA: The WA Water Corporation's ‘Water Wise' rebate program provides:

  • $50 for tanks with a capacity of 600 litres or more (unplumbed); or
  • $600, or 50 per cent of purchase and plumbing costs (whichever is
    the lesser), for tanks holding 2,000 litres or more and plumbed in
    for toilet and/or washing machine use.

VIC: The Victorian Government provides:

  • $150 for a tank 600 to 5000 litres and;
  • an additional $150 for toilet connection;
  • $500 for tank 2000-4999 litres connected to toilet and/or laundry;
  • $900 for a tank 5000+ litres connected to toilet or laundry; $1000 for a tank 5000 litres connected to toilet and laundry.

SA: The SA Water rebate program provides:

  • up to $800 to purchase a new rainwater tank and plumb it into an eligible home
  • up to $600 for plumbing into 1 eligible fixture type (to plumb an existing rainwater tank into an eligible home) 
  • $200 to add an additional rainwater tank or replacement rainwater tank that is already plumbed to their existing system 
  • $200 extra for new plumbing by a licensed plumber to supply rainwater to two or more different types of eligible fixtures, and/or an eligible seamless automatic switching device.

NSW: The New South Wales Government offers:

  • up to $1500 for rainwater tanks connected to toilets and washing machines
  • Sydney Water is offering a free Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Water Saving Kit to every household in Sydney, Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.

ACT: The ACT Government offers rebates for the installation of eligible rainwater tanks with an internal plumbing connection to inside the home (for example to the toilet or washing machine) on properties connected to ACTEW Corporation's water supply network.

Water pumps for use in conjunction with the tanks start at around $300.

Small grey water systems can cost a little as $500.

FEDERAL: The Federal Government rebate is $500 for eligible systems.

WA: The Water Corporation rebate provides up to $500, or 50 per cent of the purchase and installation costs of grey water systems.

Swimming pool covers cost up to $1000, depending on the size.

WA: The Water Corporation rebate is 50 per cent of the cost, up to $200.

4-star or more washing machines cost around $600.

WA: The Water Corporation provides a $150 rebate.

NSW: The NSW DECC Rebate provides $150 cashback on any 4.5 star rated washing machine purchased for a residential property in NSW. 

SA: The SA Water rebate program provides a rebate of $200 for the purchase of a new water efficient washing machine.

Flow restrictors and tap accessories such as aerators are inexpensive.

WA: The Water Corporation has rebates for regulators rated at three or more stars ($2 per regulator). Each household can have a maximum value of $20 of rebates.

Rain sensors cost between $40 and $400.

These can shut off any watering system when it senses rain. Cost depends on the sophistication of the system.

WA: The Water Corporation rebate is $20.

SA: The SA Water rebate of $50 is available when you spend $150 or more on specified water efficient garden goods.

Hot Water Recirculator Systems cost about $350.

This is a pump/thermostat/timer combination that ensures the water from your hot water tap is warm straight away, which means no water is wasted waiting for the shower to warm up. It is also an energy saver as it reduces the amount of water that needs to be heated in a hot water tank.

VIC: The Victorian Government rebate is $150.

AAA-rated showerheads cost between $100 and $200.

VIC: $10 per showerhead costing between $30 and $100, and $20 per showerhead costing more than $100.

SA: Up to $30 for a low-flow (3 stars or more) showerhead.

A Shower timer will switch off the water after a warning and costs between $250 and $450.

Dual flush toilets cost around $300.

SA: A SA water rebate of $150 is available for the replacement of a single flush or less water efficient toilet with a new more efficient toilet suite with a rating of 3 stars or better.

VIC: The Victorian Government rebate is $50.

Miscellaneous water saving measures

VIC: (Only between 11 March & 31 May) The Victorian Government will give a basket of garden water saving measures worth $30 when you spend $50 on eligible goods.

SA: $50 rebate when you spend $150 or more on specified water efficient garden goods.

QLD: The Queensland government offers the ClimateSmart home service, which costs $50.

  • A licensed electrician will visit your home, installing a wireless energy monitor for you to keep and conduct an energy audit of your home.
  • Where suitable, the electrician will supply and install a free water and energy efficient showerhead,
  • and supply and install up to 15 free energy efficient light globes.
  • You'll also receive a customised Energy and Water Efficiency Plan for your home.

NT: The Northern Territory Government is providing;

  • rebates of up to $50 for certain water saving products and up to $500 for eligible water saving plumbing services in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.
  • An Indoor Plumbing Rebate of up to $100 (incl. GST) is available to households in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek
  • A Outdoor Plumbing Rebate of up to $500 (incl. GST) is available to households in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek

FEDERAL ENERGY SAVING MEASURES:

Solar hot water systems (HWS) cost around $3500 depending on the size.

FEDERAL: Federal Government rebate: $1600 if replacing electric storage.

WA: The WA Government's Solar Hot Water Heater Subsidy is:

  • $500 for natural gas-boosted solar water heaters;
  • $700 for bottled LP gas-boosted solar water heaters used in areas without reticulated gas. 

NSW: The New South Wales Government offers up to $1200 to switch from electric to solar, heat pump or gas hot water systems

ACT: The ACT Government provides a rebate to ACT residents for instalation of solar hot water services that replace an electrical hot water services

An Electricity Usage Monitor costs around $200.

These display the energy being used by cost to encourage householders to be more energy-conscious.

Solar Energy Systems

FEDERAL: The Solar Homes and Communities Plan provides cash rebates for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on homes and community use buildings.

ACT: Under the Photovoltaic Rebate Program, cash rebates are available to householders who install grid connected or stand alone photovoltaic systems. The rebates are available at the rate of $8.00 per Watt peak of photovoltaic capacity, up to a maximum of 1000 Watts (ie. maximum rebate of $8000). 

VIC: The Victorian Government rebate is calculated at $8 per installed watt capacity (up to a maximum of $8000).

SA: SA has the first solar feed-in law in Australia that will pay a premium guaranteed tariff of $0.44 per unit of electricity (kilowatt-hour, kWh), to households and small customers who feed solar electricity into the grid.

Compact Fluorescent Lights cost as little as $2, up to $100, depending on the type and size.

LED are also available to replace halogen down lights for just a few dollars.

Insulation costs anywhere between $660 and $1600 for a standard 120m2 ceiling.

FEDERAL: The Federal Government's Energy Efficient Homes Package offers free ceiling insulation worth up to $1,600 to all Australian home owner-occupiers of currently uninsulated homes. (However, this is not available to any home-owners taking advantage of the $1600 solar HWS rebate).

SA: The Victorian Government rebate is $500 if the ceiling has never been insulated and if the insulation is purchased and installed by a participating supplier.

VIC: The Victorian Government insulation rebate of up to $500 is available if your ceiling has never been insulated and the insulation is purchased and installed by a participating supplier.

NSW: The New South Wales Government pays for half the cost of installing ceiling insulation in your home, to a maximum of $300.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO:

There are also many FREE ways to save energy and water. Check the ideas in the following websites:

Below is a list of some of the organisations and companies that can provide further information, advice and quotes on water and energy efficiency products suited to your specific situation:

For information about State rebates visit:

New South Wales
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/rebates/  
http://www.waterforlife.nsw.gov.au/waterefficiency/households/rebates_and_offers  

Victoria
http://www.ourwater.vic.gov.au/saving/home/rebates  
http://www.saveenergy.vic.gov.au/shopsmart/307.aspx  

South Australia
http://www.sawater.com.au/SAWater/YourHome/SaveWaterInYourHome/rebates_overview.htm  
http://www.climatechange.sa.gov.au/index.php?page=feed-in-scheme  

Queensland
http://www.nrw.qld.gov.au/water/saverscheme/rebate_schemes.html  

Tasmania
(Hobart) http://www.hobartcity.com.au/HCC/STANDARD/REBATE_SCHEME.html  
http://www.dier.tas.gov.au/energy/rebates  

Western Australia
http://portal.water.wa.gov.au
http://www.sedo.energy.wa.gov.au

Northern Territory
http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/water/wise/index.html

Australian Capital Territory
http://www.thinkwater.act.gov.au/tuneup_rebates.shtml  
http://www.tams.act.gov.au/live/sustainability_programs_and_projects/community_rebate_and_efficiency_programs/energy_efficient_programs_and_rebates  

I hope you will find this information useful, consider using some of the tax bonus payment for this purpose and share this information with friends, family and colleagues.