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Alternative Energy offers new hope for Aussies


Alternative energy course offers new hope for Aussies let down by the government's Home Sustainability Assessment scheme

With the current political debate still raging over the federal government's Green Loans scheme (see eg of Courier Mail article pasted below for details), you may be interested to hear the opinion of ACS Distance Education principal John Mason, and hear of the ACS course on Alternative Energy providing a long-term answer for many Australians to address their energy and environmental concerns.

In response to this debate, John Mason says the following ...

"If Australia is passionate about Greenhouse emissions and sustainability, we should put our energy into learning and implementing change, rather than developing bureaucratic rubber stamping systems that don't work.
"The Australian Government needs to get some perspective - what makes a difference is educating more people about what they can do to achieve long-term sustainability ... not the Government sending out armies of inspectors to homes when they may not even be equipped with the right tools or knowledge.
"Besides that, has anyone considered how many unemployed environmental, science graduates we have prior to setting up this scheme?"

ACS Distance Education offers an online Alternative Energy course (100 hours/cost $660) that is accessible to anyone throughout Australia, offering a learning experience regarding a multitude of topics that the government's Home Sustainability Assessors cover during their home inspections.

"Our Alternative Energy course is the conservative equivalent to 2 weeks full time study - how does this compare with the sustainability licensing courses given to the new Home Sustainability Assessors? I was surprised to hear what some of the new assessors were paying for their courses (more than $2000), and how short they were (less than a week)," says Mr Mason.

The Alternative Energy course covers topics including climate change, solar energy, solar panels, temperature control, minimising lighting energy requirements, minimising appliance energy requirements, water tanks, and the list goes on.

For details on this course see www.acs.edu.au and go to Courses, then Horticulture, then Self Sustainability.

If you have any queries or would like to arrange an interview, please call or email the ACS head office on the Gold Coast on 07) 5562 1088 and ask for our Media and Marketing Officers Denise Hodges ([email protected]),or Kate Gibson ([email protected]), or if urgent, ACS Principal John Mason ([email protected]).


Government green loans scheme 'close to collapse'
Article from:  Tuck Thompson January 30, 2010 12:00am

ONE of the Rudd Government's key climate change initiatives is close to collapse amid claims of widespread rorting and mismanagement.

Just six months after its launch, the $70 million Green Loans scheme to get Australians to install energy-efficient products will be lucky to survive past March without millions more in taxpayer funding.

Similarities are already being drawn between Green Loans and the Government's bungled $3.2 billion home insulation subsidy scheme. A Senate inquiry into the insulation rebate scheme is probing accusations of malpractice, rorting and mismanagement.

The much-vaunted Green Loans program was supposed to run for three years but is being bled dry by a flurry of unregistered operators.

So far, there have been just 1000 subsidised loans approved for solar power and water-saving and energy-efficient products.

Now thousands of people who paid $3000 each to become Green Loans assessors will be thrown on the unemployment scrapheap if the scheme collapses.

Instead of using only registered training organisations, unregistered groups were allowed to conduct audit training courses, with one earning $300,000 in one weekend by packing 200 people in a class at $1500 a head.

The Opposition's environment spokesman, Greg Hunt, yesterday called for a "full-scale investigation", claiming the program had been a fiasco.

But the Federal Government yesterday defended the scheme, with a spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Garrett saying it had "stimulated significant growth in the market for household sustainability assessors".

He said the scheme's future would be considered "in the context of Budget deliberations".
Brisbane's Gillian Steele said she thought the project had "a lot of merit" when she paid $3000 for herself and her daughter to be trained as Green Loans assessors. "I'm frustrated and disappointed," she said yesterday.

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