Integrating energy efficiency and hardship improvements into the Care at Home system

Exploring opportunities in the Care at Home system to address energy vulnerability among older people living at home.

Project date


What was the project?

The project produced a Model demonstrating how energy efficiency and hardship initiatives could be integrated into the Care at Home system.

Older people may be vulnerable to energy hardship and related risk to health and wellbeing. Research has shown trusted intermediaries, such as health care workers, are well placed to identify the risks and to offer support. This project studied the current practices and resources of two organisations in supporting older people who were living independently at home and engaged with stakeholders from the energy, equity and health domains to develop a framework to identify risks, respond appropriately and to refer people to help with energy advice, retrofits, contract negotiations and concession applications.

This integration of energy assistance into the Care at Home system may be supported by public awareness campaigns tailored to seniors to promote self-referral, by equipping health professional to identify energy hardship and by making energy initiatives more person-centric. Models are also needed to reach vulnerable people who do not benefit from Care at Home.

Project team

Dr Nicola Willand

Dr Debbi Long

Dr Dena Sharrock


RMIT University


Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy

Moira Health Alliance

Nexus Primary Care

South East Council Climate Change Alliance


Integrating energy efficiency & hardship improvements into the Care at Home system – Final report

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer