Visiting the YWCA in Canberra, Garrett said the Rudd Government’s Green Start program will connect Australia’s most vulnerable households with practical and personal advice and support.

“On average, low-income earners spend a higher proportion of their weekly household budget on energy and water, making these Australians particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change” Garrett said.

Minister Garrett said that under Green Start, eligible householders would receive:

A free home energy and water assessment, which will pin-point new and extra opportunities to save energy and water.

Free supply and installation of energy and water efficiency products such as pipe insulation, efficient light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, draught proofing, seals for fridges, doors and windows, grey water hoses and compost bins.

Personalized help to access local, state, territory and Australian Government energy and water efficiency rebates and programs, such as the Home Insulation Program.

Advocacy and support to help householders deal with landlords, real estate agencies and tradespeople to implement energy and water efficiency measures.

“We’ll be working closely with the social welfare sector, Centrelink and FAHCSIA and state and territory governments to ensure Green Start connects with and complements programs and activities already in place in various jurisdictions,” Minister Garrett said.

“Local brokers will ensure the program is delivered to the areas and households most in need.

The Australian Government is now calling for bids to deliver the program. The details are on AusTender. The tender period will close on January 14, 2010.

Green Start is expected to roll out across Australia in 2010.