FaHCSIA Consultation on the Household Energy and Financial Sustainability Scheme, 2011

As a national provider of Emergency Relief and other social services including government energy assistance programmes (EPA vouchers in NSW), St Vincent de Paul Society staff and volunteers regularly come into contact with Australians experiencing energy hardship and disconnection.

We acknowledge that climate change disproportionately effects the poor, even though they contribute proportionally less to the causes of climate change. As such, the St Vincent de Paul Society supports all equitable and effective measures to address climate change and improve environmental sustainability.

In our opinion the proposed Household Energy & Financial Sustainability Scheme (HEFSS) is not likely to be effective or equitable. The proposed program lacks a clear policy framework and consequently, key performance indicators. These preconditions are critical to ensure both the effective targeting of limited resources and the ongoing evaluation of the scheme.