Electrify Everything
for Everyone

Electrify Everything Loan Scheme (EELS)

Rewiring Australia is on a mission to electrify everything as it is the fastest way to address the climate crisis while significantly reducing household energy bills. We have just released a key part of our electric vision for Australia - The Electrify Everything Loans Scheme (EELS)

We believe this policy proposal of universal access to finance will be key in helping more Australians benefit from a solar electric home. We need your support, voice and action in this ongoing campaign for universal electrification.

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Unlocking the benefits of solar electric homes

We already know the benefits of household electrification, with more than 30% of Australians installing rooftop solar and enjoying lower energy bills. We need more households having access to this abundant resource while being supported to replace their gas guzzling appliances and petrol cars with efficient, electric ones.

If households had access to finance to retrofit their homes, they could lock-in significant ongoing savings and create healthier homes with lower emissions. We know that once a home is fully electric with solar and a battery, households can save over $3000 every year on energy bills, and if they electrify their cars, the total energy savings are over $5000 every year. 

We’re calling on the government to support every household - no matter their income - to create their solar electric home and by doing so, Australians would collectively save a whopping $680 billion on home energy costs by 2050! And $1.7 trillion if we electrify our cars too. This ambitious yet achievable scheme would be a win for households, a win for our energy future and a win for our climate.

How would the Electrify Everything Loan Scheme (EELS) work?

While government rebates and subsidies programs can be a great start, they don’t go far enough for most homes, and credit-based schemes are inaccessible for low-income homes who may not be able to afford ongoing repayments. Under EELS, households could receive a government-backed loan that is secured on the property and which doesn’t need to be repaid until the house is sold.

This ensures that all households have the financial barrier to solar and electrification removed, regardless of income.Households could receive the funds today to install solar, batteries, smart EV charging, water heating, induction cooking, split system air-con, and home efficiency upgrades. The loan would be indexed to inflation and households would pay it back when they can afford to, choosing to make repayments or simply wait until they next sell their house. 

A policy win for households

Australians are doing it tough, thanks to skyrocketing gas, coal and oil prices. A typical household today will pay $5517 every year using their gas appliances and petrol car. A fully electric home, complete with rooftop solar, efficient electric appliances, a battery and EV, will spend just $559 a year on energy costs. Not only are low energy prices locked in for years to come, households can enjoy healthier homes with cleaner air.

EELS funding would be a key enabler for every dwelling-owner, including occupiers and landlords - that’s around 67% of Australian households, spread evenly across incomes (in the bottom 20% of income brackets, 62% are homeowners). Retired homeowners on government pensions, low-income homes, and strata owners who face the challenge of sharing costs could all install solar panels, a battery or an electric heat pump without the burden of paying for it upfront. 

What about renters?
Landlords could also access EELS to upgrade rental properties without paying upfront, and we recommend complementary policies that further support renters, such as mandatory energy disclosure on bills and minimum efficiency standards.

A policy win for our energy future

Investing in households is investing in Australia’s energy future. By accelerating rooftop solar and home batteries, households can play a critical role in meeting the government’s target of 82% renewable energy by 2030. More household solar and storage means we can meet that target faster, creating a more resilient and secure network as it builds  flexibility. A large-scale investment in creating solar electric homes would also kickstart huge manufacturing and employment opportunities as thousands of jobs would be created to rewire homes nationwide.

A policy win for the climate

Household emissions (including vehicles) are 25% of Australia’s emissions. If we are to meet our climate targets, we need to make deep emissions cuts in the next 5 years. The good news is we have the technologies available now to change this, and by prioritising our household emissions, it will be the fastest way to both decarbonise our economy and to address the rising cost of living. In 2023, the government spent $3 billion on energy bill relief for vulnerable households. For an investment of $4 billion per year, the government could provide all Australian households with permanent cost-of-living relief by helping them pay for their energy upfront, while lowering household emissions by 64%.

What we're asking for:

We’re calling for a $2.8 billion expenditure on budget over the next 3 years (2024 - 2027) to establish EELS and deliver complementary policies to reduce the costs of electrification for consumers and maximise public benefits:

  • $300 million to establish EELS administration 
  • $2 billion to make provision for loan concessions 
  • $340 million to demonstrate intensified electrification in 17 Zero Emission Communities across representative climate zones and in urban and regional areas 
  • $95 million to build networks of medium-speed level 2 EV chargers to provide low-cost charging and soak up rooftop solar in communities
  • $10 million to review and rewrite the National Electricity Market around households-centred rules that allow electric households to compete against fossil fuel generators and retailers

Those numbers may sound high, however our modelling shows that if we ambitiously electrify homes and vehicles now by providing access to finance, consumers will save $1.7 trillion by 2050, and if funded by flexible finance like EELS, the real cost to the budget will be just 1/20th of the consumer savings. In other words, this is a modest investment to unlock a lifetime of savings.

What households would get:

  • Ability to install solar panels, batteries, smart EV charging, electric hot water, induction cooking, electric heating/cooling system, and home efficiency upgrades without having to pay for it upfront.
  • Flexible, low-cost financing to upgrade your home, indexed to inflation, which doesn’t need to be repaid until the house is sold (or via voluntary or income contingent repayments).
  • Over $1000 annual savings in energy bills, up to $5000 when including an electric vehicle.
  • Cheap energy purchased upfront - meaning you’re not locked into spiralling gas prices!
  • 64% in reduction of household energy use, and cleaner and safer appliances.

Let’s make electrification universally accessible!

Past governments have created universal health care through Medicare and universal tertiary education through HECS. In fact, the EELS scheme has been a collaboration with Rewiring Australia, ANU and Professor Bruce Chapman, the architect of the original HECS higher education loan scheme. Like education, electrification is an upfront investment in the future with both private and public benefits, and if it can be financed in a way that allows people to repay when they’re best able to, it becomes more accessible to everyone.

The Australian Government must take this opportunity to electrify everything for everyone and lock-in the benefits for generations to come.

How you can help:

Your support, voice, movement, and action make our work possible. Together, we are changing the way Australia is wired and powered. 

This will be an ongoing campaign of Rewiring Australia championing universal electrification for all Australians and we need your help.

  • Donate to continue providing groundbreaking research, education, advocacy and deployment projects. Every dollar supports an electric future for Australia. 
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Energy Consumers Australia has contributed to the funding of this project as part of its grants process for consumer advocacy projects and research projects for the benefit of consumers of electricity and gas. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of Energy Consumers Australia.

Rewiring Australia would also like to thank
Australian Ethical for their funding support of this work.