Energy and climate – Tenant News special edition

Tenant News 114
Energy bills. Most of us don’t look forward to getting them. They're often difficult to understand, but the worst part is looking to the spot in the bill where the dollars owed sit in heavy black numbers. This special edition of our magazine Tenant News focuses on energy and climate issues, from a renter's perspective. Many renters want to take action to reduce their energy use – for the climate as well as for the household budget – but are limited by the laws and structures of renting.
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Unfairly evicted for challenging electricity misuse & excessive rent

Jeremy and Mari
“We stood up to the landlord. That’s the real reason we were evicted.” Jeremy tells how he received a 'no-grounds' eviction after he challenged the landlord over excessive rent and a requirement to pay for electricity used in a communal area.
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Solar power and tenants

Grant
Grant Arbuthnot, Tenants' Union Principal Legal Officer, discusses three decisions by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). Each of these three decisions has implications for tenants and solar power. The decisions are by three different NCAT members over three years. Solar power in the tenancy market usually exists in premises that have previously been in the owner occupier market. This brings new and strange disputes.
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Community Power Revolution

Erland
Erland Howden, tenant and member of Blue Mountains Renewable Energy Co-op, talks about ways tenants can be involved in community-owned solar.
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Bill Busters – campaigning for systemic change

Bill Busters Logo
Simple, energy saving technologies are not only good for renters, they are good for the whole country and planet because they reduce the energy demand which is driving up domestic energy prices, and greenhouse gas emissions, writes Jason Ray from Friends of the Earth Sydney.
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Power Savers making gains

Leonie
Sixty households in Coonamble have signed up to a community program to cut their electricity bills. The Coonamble Power Savers Program is an energy efficiency program in operation since July 2016. The original Power Savers project started in 2013 and assisted over 1,000 low-income households in NSW, including tenants, to reduce their power bills and improve comfort in their homes.
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Liveable homes, a liveable climate

Brad
The sun falling on Australia’s deserts in just four days could power the whole planet’s electricity needs for a year. That’s a win for the cost of energy in Australia and for the future of the planet. But how are we doing in transitioning from fossil fuels to solar? Brad Smith, Energy and Climate Campaigner with the Nature Conservation Council assesses the NSW situation.
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Electricity in land lease communities - it's complicated

Home in a residential park
Electricity in land lease communities is a complex issue governed by a range of laws, regulations and guidelines that overlap but do not always correspond, writes Julie Lee, Residential Parks Officer with the Tenants’ Union of NSW.
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Energy issues in Sweden

Solar panels and wind turbine in Sweden
Peder Palmstierna, from the Swedish Union of Tenants (SUT) visited the Tenants’ Union in March this year and Paul van Reyk, our Senior Project Officer spoke with him about energy issues in rental housing in Sweden.
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The electricity system in NSW – an overview

NEM overview graphic
Electricity is an essential service. It is easy to take it for granted that it will be available to power fridges and lights, heaters and hot water systems every single day, without interruption. But how is it generated? How is it transported? And how is its price determined? The TU asked the Public Interest Advocacy Centre to lay it all out for us.
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