20:20 VISIONS - Enabling Energy Efficiency for Tenants

The City of Sydney launched its C40 Women4Climate Mentorship Program in May, with Mayor Clover Moore stating “Climate action is the City of Sydney’s top priority”, as reflected in the City’s 2030 Strategy and Climate Emergency declaration.

Ahead of the Global Climate Strike called for 20 September, the program’s 20 mentees are taking this opportunity to share the vision for each of their projects, and their view on climate activism. The outcomes of their projects will be presented at the global Women4Climate Conference in Sydney in April 2020.

Claudia is a solar energy engineer, interested in all aspects of combatting energy use

Enabling Energy Efficiency for Tenants

MY VISION

Almost one third (32%) of Australian households rented their home in 2017–18, an increase from 30% in 2015–16. My vision for Sydney is for rental properties to have best practice energy efficiency measures. I want to see a world where energy efficiency is a deciding factor as important as location and price. I think tenants should be empowered to ask their landlords for better buildings and expect energy efficiency in the properties they rent.

MY PROJECT

I am assessing the options to increase energy efficiency in rental apartments and houses. A lot of work has already been completed around the tenant landlord split incentive and I want to build on this in a practical way.

Some of the questions I consider are:

  • Do tenants understand what energy efficiency means for them?
  • Do tenants know what they can do that can be removed before they leave, according to the terms of their lease?
  • Do landlords know what they can do about energy efficiency in their properties?
  • Do landlords know they could offer a more resilient and desirable home for potential renters?
  • How do other countries encourage energy efficient properties?
  • Can we adopt or adapt their measures to get better outcomes in Australia?

I want to understand these problems and issues and see what the best method is to get better outcomes for landlords and their tenants. I want to produce a White Paper with recommendations specific to Sydney.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CITIES

Cities are our population hubs. Addressing energy efficiency in our homes will contribute a great deal to reducing carbon emissions. The number of renters as a percentage of the population continues to grow, and so it is important that we focus on this integral part of our city’s make up. We cannot ignore the opportunities that educating and empowering tenants presents.

Local governments and councils are integral in accessing renters and landlords, making information available, and providing advice and assistance for renters and landlords hoping to adopt sustainable and climate-proof measures. Whether through educational programs or driving community events, cities are a key part of developing our capacity for improved housing.

MY SUPPORT FOR THE GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE

Climate change is an overwhelming and anxiety inducing event that affects us all. The upcoming climate strike demonstrates the unity of our residents and the concerns that transcend generations, genders and locations.

I believe that we can mitigate the worst effects of climate change and we can move to a more sustainable world that offers exciting opportunities to all. The climate strike shows we aren’t alone and we are working towards something greater than any single person.

“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”