Energy saving tips for Aboriginal consumers

In 2011 the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC) spoke with Aboriginal consumers and advocates to develop the research report Wein, Paen, Ya Ang Gim: Victorian Aboriginal Experiences of Energy and Water.

One focus of the report's recommendations was improving Aboriginal consuemrs' awareness and understanding of energy and the available assistance. We found that there was very little of the targeted information that Aboriginal consumers and advocates said was needed. When it comes to printed materials, participants suggested that these should:

  • incorporate Aboriginal artwork or symbols to show that the information is for Aboriginal people
  • take into account the low literacy level of some Aboriginal consumers
  • focus on saving money and on family health rather than energy efficiency or environment, and
  • be disseminated in places where Aboriginal people go.

Taking up these recommendations, in 2013 CUAC developed an energy saving brochure and magnet set targeted specifically at an Aboriginal audience. Each magnet is designed to go on an appliance (a fridge, washing machine or dryer) to keep top energy saving tips related to that appliance top-of-mind. The brochure has a more comprehensive list of energy saving tips for each room of the house, as well as information about public housing repairs and the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) service, set against a background of family-themed Aboriginal artwork.

While the brochure is available on EnergyInfoHub (along with some other resources targeted at Aboriginal consumers), magnets are trickier to download! Luckily, CUAC has a number of hard-copy brochure and magnet sets which we can provide to you at no charge. If you think these items might be helpful for your clients or members, contact Loren Days at loren.days@cuac.org.au to request hard copies.