Climate Safe Rooms

Free home energy upgrades for low-income households.

The Climate Safe Rooms program offered free home energy upgrades for low-income households where at least one resident received home care support services for an existing chronic health condition that puts them at risk from heatwaves and extreme cold.

The program aimed to improve comfort levels within the home by creating a Climate Safe Room, a room that is upgraded to remain comfortable during both summer and winter temperature extremes. The program also measured the health outcomes and energy bill savings that result from making the home more comfortable to live in, all year round.

Project Overview

The Climate Safe Rooms project focused on creating a safe haven in the homes of up to 20 people most at risk of serious illness or death from climate extremes.

An energy efficient room that remains comfortable in both summer and winter extremes, fully insulated and draft proofed with high efficiency air-conditioning and small solar systems to offset running costs.

The project had six main outcomes.

  1. Deliver individually designed Climate Safe Rooms up to 20 or more satisfied vulnerable residents who matched the selection criteria.
  2. Test and prove a corporate social responsibility (CSR) model through the delivery of a range of building types and cost of a single room vs whole home.
  3. Measure thermal efficiency performance, energy usage and affordability, health, and thermal comfort.
  4. Gather research into how improving home energy efficiency can benefit household energy use, thermal comfort and the health and wellbeing of the Geelong community.
  5. Distribute and publish research findings widely to assist with awareness and developmental growth. Additionally, contribute to the CSIRO research areas linking activities of daily living to environment and thermal comfort.
  6. Determine pathways to expand on the project at scale.

Who ran the Climate Safe Rooms program?

The project was managed by Geelong Sustainability and delivered in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong (COGG), CSIRO, Ecomaster, and Uniting. The project was delivered by Geelong Sustainability's social enterprise, Greenlight.

Update as of September 2022

Throughout the successful delivery of this program, 15 homes were given upgrades, making them more comfortable for residents. In the 12 months since the completion of the upgrades, Geelong Sustainability and our partners have been undertaking data monitoring and will collate the findings into a final evaluation and report by early 2023.

The next step for us will be working with key stakeholders and partners to assess the possibility of a longer-term and larger-scale version of the project.