ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Powering Down: an energy efficiency education project (2017)


NSW Environment Trust, $100,000


researchers Dr Helen Masterman-Smith, Dr John Rafferty, Dr Marie Sheahan and Albury City Council.

Research Theme

Rural and Regional Communities


Being located in Climate Zone 7, Albury LGA experiences extreme temperatures and high associated energy consumption and costs (ABS 2012). ‘Hard to reach’ households often face these burdens on lower incomes and with limited housing options. For example, public housing residents generally struggle with energy efficiency and thermal comfort issues (AIHW 2013). However, little was known about local EE practices and challenges or how best to assist residents.

This project held workshops to share valuable EE knowledge and focussed on capacity building within the community. There were many learning opportunities for local agencies about how to enhance community engagement and development strategies on this and other issues (eg. water, waste).

Local schools and households were offered opportunities to reinforce the importance of EE across these interconnected sections of the community and maximises the potential of engaging hard to reach households. The schools component applied STEM subjects to the real-world contexts of students’ homes and schools targeting year 5 students.


Energy efficiency education and awareness of current government assistance were promoted through a benchmarking community survey,  community workshops were held and information disseminated through the use of local/social media, online, Council’s Sustainable Living Week and a community information display over the year, located within proximity of low-income households.


Dr Helen Mastermann Smith  email

Dr John Rafferty  email

CSU Albury-Wodonga

April 2018