Western Australia is set to pursue cleaner, greener public housing as the state aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

In its latest announcement, the Western Australian Government said that the Department of Communities and the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together over three years to develop a strategy to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the state’s public housing stock.

The two organisations will work to determine the best methods to improve access to clean energy and emission reduction technology with the aim of providing renewable, lower cost power to benefit tenants and the broader community.

Through this partnership, a working group of industry and academic experts will explore:

  • Technical options, including costs, social benefits and impact on carbon emissions associated with each option
  • Opportunities for local and regional businesses to participate through manufacturing, installation and servicing; and
  • Development of a vision for future social housing which incorporate decarbonization objectives.

The approach to decarbonization will be informed by nine principles outline in the states Climate Policy and its Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategy.

These include government leadership, resilience, regional job creation, energy security, collaboration and fairness.

All up, Western Australia has a public housing stock of 35,000 dwellings, which are managed by the Department of Communities.

Western Australia Housing Minister John Carey welcomed the signing of the memorandum.

“This is an exciting opportunity to create a clean, green future for the State’s social housing stock,” he said.

FBICRC CEO Shannon O’Rourke said the initiative would deliver significant benefits for the community as well as manufacturing opportunities for local businesses.

“It leverages our deep capability across the renewable sector and reflects the critical role that energy storage will play in Australia’s race to decarbonize,” O’Rourke said.