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RS2101 Housing Plus Lantana Pl
Case study

Greener housing for regional NSW

Clean energy homes for regional communities

Housing Plus, one of the largest regional community housing providers in New South Wales, has developed 280 new and highly energy efficient community housing dwellings for low-income families, while retrofitting existing homes to improve sustainability.


new homes

7-7.5 Star

NatHERS minimum rating


CEFC finance

By making sustainability a priority for our homes across the NSW Central West and Orana our tenants have more comfortable dwellings that are cheaper to run and better for the environment. These efficient homes are maximising the benefits of rooftop solar to help reduce energy bills for years to come.
Justin Cantelo
CEO, Housing Plus

Our investment

The CEFC provided finance of $112.5 million to support Housing Plus develop 280 community housing dwellings across regional NSW. 

The Housing Plus program of works also included retrofits of rooftop solar and energy efficient technologies across some of its existing properties, to extend the benefits of the CEFC finance to even more low-income families.

Housing Plus, a Tier 1 regional community housing provider, secured the CEFC finance as part of its successful bid for inclusion in the second funding round offered by the NSW Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF).

Housing Plus delivered the final dwellings in the SAHF2 program in mid February 2024.  CEFC finance was repaid in April 2024.

our impact

Building better for long-term benefits

Residential buildings are responsible for about 24 per cent of overall electricity use and more than 10 per cent of total carbon emissions in Australia – providing scope for improvement as we work to meet our national target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Since inception, the CEFC has sought to push the boundaries on building sustainably to reduce emissions and has invested in more than 1,500 homes with a 7+ star rating under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).  

Our investment experience, supporting measurable sustainability improvements and emissions reduction using available technology, has provided insights shared with industry and government to back higher standards for Australian housing.

The CEFC commitment to Housing Plus, announced in 2019, pushed for a minimum 7-7.5 star rating against NatHERS – which at the time was well above the 6 star minimum new build standard. Increasing a home from 6 to 7 stars has the benefit of reducing household heating and cooling emissions by some 25 per cent.

Minimum standards in Australia have since risen so that all homes built after 2022 must be to an equivalent 7-star minimum – effectively building in those emissions savings from day one.

Housing Plus achieves better outcomes for tenants

The CEFC-financed Housing Plus program involved 68 new dwellings in Bathurst, 124 in Dubbo, 52 in Orange, 12 in Lithgow, 10 in Parkes, 10 in Mudgee and 4 in Cowra.

The new homes were designed to achieve energy efficiency ratings ranging from 7 to 7.5 stars NatHERS to help tenants keep their energy bills low, as well as reducing emissions.

In addition, these homes had rooftop solar and split system air-conditioners installed, to further reduce the running costs making these homes more comfortable affordable for tenants.

The new properties were a mix of 4, 3, 2 and 1-bedroom homes and designed to meet the Silver Liveable Housing Design Guidelines that meet the needs of older people and people with a disability.

Improving existing homes with retrofits

Older existing homes generally have poor thermal comfort levels that can be improved through retrofitting with energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.

Housing Plus was able to leverage CEFC finance and grants from the NSW Government under the Home Energy Action Program (HEAP) to perform retrofits across existing buildings. By June 2023 installations had included: 

  • 430 homes with rooftop solar 
  • 111 homes with air conditioning 
  • 25 homes with heat pumps 
  • 20 homes with insulation and draft proofing.

More than 400 Housing Plus tenants were surveyed in May 2022 about how their upgraded homes had impacted their lives. Their responses were positive across the board, with many reporting that they felt more in control of their energy use and less stressed about paying bills.  Some even reported they were more likely to have friends and grandkids around because their homes were more comfortable.


Housing Plus tenant survey findings.

Tenant issues

Before upgrade work


Stressed about energy bills



In control of energy use






Read our insight

Clean energy and community housing

How can Australia’s community housing providers improve the standard of living for lower income families while making their homes more energy efficient?

Read more
Last updated April 2024. New South Wales, Housing, Property, Renewable energy, Energy efficiency
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