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The Energy-Health Hardship Nexus Forum: A case for systematic change

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Event description

This forum will present a groundbreaking approach to tackling energy hardship from a new perspective, exploring the role of the health system in putting an end to energy hardship. 

There is substantial evidence to show that living in conditions that are not adequately heated or cooled significantly affects our physical and mental health as well as impacting our overall wellbeing. Despite this, many Victorians are not accessing the grants and supports available to keep their home at a safe temperature.  People are struggling to keep their homes warm or cool which is impacting their health and hindering their ability to work. Victoria has seen a multidimensional approach to Energy Hardship with numerous policy and governmental actions, yet there are still too many people struggling. 

Community-based healthcare and frontline workers are a trusted profession and offer huge potential to: 

  • Proactively identify community members experiencing energy hardship, and 
  • connect them to energy assistance schemes. 

We will be joined by representatives from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action and cohealth who will tell us about a collaborative outreach intervention that identified and successfully supported people experiencing energy hardship.   

Sustainability Victoria will be joining us to share a promising intervention established to proactively identify and support vulnerable people who are at risk of developing a health condition through energy hardship.   

Dr Nicola Willand from RMIT will be sharing the outcomes from her inspiring research that showed how new systemic linkages between service organisations could help to identify households that under-use energy and fall outside existing systems of detection and support.  

Together, we will explore how new connections can support Victorians at risk, putting an end to energy hardship.

This event has been funded by Energy Consumers Australia as part of its grants process for consumer advocacy projects and research projects for the benefit of consumers of electricity and natural gas. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Consumers Australia. 

About the Victorian Council of Social Service
VCOSS is the peak representative body for Victoria’s social and community sector, and the state’s leading social advocacy organisation. We work towards creating a Victoria that is fair, just and inclusive. A society where nobody is trapped by poverty, and everybody is supported to live a life of wellbeing.

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