Research Impact


A plus for energy efficiency

Energy+Illawarra program has significant and positive effects on changing attitude

Assisting low income older person households to be more energy efficient and thus save money is the result of the Energy+Illawarra social marketing program.

This research consortium evolved through the process of applying for funds under the Australian Government’s Low-income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP).

Led by program leader Professor Paul Cooper, from UOW’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, the project’s objectives were to trial and evaluate a number of different approaches at the community level to assist low income older person households to be more energy efficient, while maintaining quality of life and comfort.

Once captured and analysed, the data has been used to inform future energy efficiency policy and program approaches, with resources related to the Energy+Illawarra project are available on the website (

Education and training was delivered by organisations including WEA Illawarra, which provided 25 community events in the region to share insights, stories, and provide advice and support for people to use energy efficiently, which was then included on
the website.

Energy Australia supported the project by adapting project materials such as newsletters and videos for distribution to a broader audience of consumers. In addition, local councils have been engaged on their policies and practices relating to energy efficiency. This has resulted in distribution and sharing of materials, links to the project website being promoted, and input into policy and practices of local councils concerning energy efficiency.

Statistical evidence from three representative surveys support the claim of the significant and positive effects Energy+Illawarra has had on changing attitudes towards energy efficiency in the target group beyond the end of the intervention.

The program will be expanded on in future, with members of the research partnership securing funding through the Port Kembla Investment Trust, the Office of Environment and Heritage and Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.

Partner organisations

Regional Development Australia Illawarra
Macquarie University
WEA Illawarra
Warrigal Care
Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution
IRT Group
Illawarra Forum
Viridis Australasia

UOW participants

Prof. Paul Cooper, Prof. Gordon Waitt, Kate Roggeveen, Michael Tibbs, Dr Georgios Kokogiannakis, Clayton McDowell, Laia Ledo Gomis