Energy and climate – Tenant News special edition

Published on 26/08/2017

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.

Tenant News 114 coverThis 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.

One of the key problems is lack of security. In NSW, renters feel like they might be unfairly evicted at any time – and be uprooted from their neighbourhoods and communities. This makes it difficult to negotiate with the landlord for improvements in energy efficiency or to install rooftop solar, or even to assert basic renters' rights.

These are some of the reasons why the Tenants’ Union, with over 80 other organisations, is campaigning to Make Renting Fair, by removing the laws allowing ‘no grounds’ evictions. We invite you to learn more and join the campaign at

Below, check out the stories and articles from this special edition of Tenant News. Download the pdf here, or if you would like printed copies of the magazine to give to tenants, please get in touch.







Liveable homes, liveable climate

Brad Smith from the Nature Conservation Council looks at how NSW is going in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy.






Power savers making gains

Sixty households in Coonamble are the latest to learn how to save electricity and cut their bills. Find out more about the program, plus tips for all renters.






Community power revolution

Erland Howden, tenant and member of Blue Mountains Renewable Energy Co-op, talks about ways tenants can be involved in community-owned solar.

Jeremy and Mari





Unfairly evicted

It’s not legal to make a tenant pay for electricity used in communal areas. But after Jeremy and Mari opposed this and excessive rent, they were evicted.

Make Renting Fair





Make renting green, and fair

Not being able to access energy efficient homes is just one way in which unfair renting laws harm tenants. Our new campaign aims to end unfair evictions.






Solar power and tenants

Grant Arbuthnot (TU Principal Legal Officer) discuss three decisions by the Tribunal which have implications for tenants and solar power.


A plan to save energy and money

Leo Patterson Ross (TU Advocacy & Research Officer) examines the NSW government's Climate Change Strategic Plan from a renter's perspective.






SGHC sustainability strategy

Clarissa and other tenants at St George Community Housing are benefiting from new energy efficient, affordable homes.

Bill Busters logo





Bill Busters

Bill Busters is a campaign by Friends of the Earth Sydney to ensure tenants have access to affordable and sustainable energy in comfortable homes.

electricity system overview





Electricity system overview

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre gives an introduction to how electricity is generated, transported, and priced in New South Wales.






Help for tenants

The Energy and Water Ombudsman describes how they assist renters who are having problems with their energy or water provider.

Land lease community





Land lease community electricity

This is a complex issue governed by a range of laws, regulations and guidelines, Julie Lee (TU Residential Parks Officer) explains.

Solar panels in Sweden





Energy issues in Sweden

Peder Palmstierna, of the Swedish Union of Tenants, gives a glimpse into a very different energy and renting system.





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