TasCOSS and Sustainable Living Tasmania Staying Connected Project
Cynthia Townley, TasCOSS
Tasmania’s frontline community sector workers are better able to assist clients to manage their household energy use and energy bills, and access help when they need it because of the Staying Connected Project.
TasCOSS and Sustainable Living Tasmania (SLT) delivered Staying Connected in a series of workshops across the State in March and April, 2017.
With its cold weather and many poorly insulated houses, Tasmanians’ largest energy bill comes during or after winter.
The Staying Connected workshops provided advice about keeping warm in the most energy efficient ways, including the costs of different forms of heating, cheap ways to reduce drafts and other heat loss, and the best ways to use curtains to keep rooms warm.
To help people understand electricity and gas bills, the workshops provided information about the electricity and gas supply chains. We explained how different tariffs work, how much difference energy efficient choices can make and, used props and case examples to show how material and behavioural changes in the home can make a real difference to heating bills.
Feedback showed that delivering the information in an accessible and community-friendly way made a real difference to workers, and that their knowledge and understanding is delivering tangible benefits to clients.
One participant commented: “Great to have Kath [McLean, TasCOSS Senior Policy Officer] simply explain the Electricity Supply Chain with a smile on her face and not an expert in a suit from a corporation.”
The team also delivered information about accessing support for people experiencing financial hardship, the range of concessions available, and the range of payment options. One participant told us they were “Looking forward to using this information to better assist/advocate for my clients.”
Workshops were held across all Tasmanian regions in 12 locations. Thanks to the Government funding, they were free for participants to attend.
The Tasmanian Government’s Climate Change Office funded the Staying Connected project. Workshops and materials were planned and prepared by Kath McLean of TasCOSS and Anton Vikstrom of SLT. Cynthia Townley (TasCOSS) and Julie Hargreaves (SLT) assisted in delivering some of the workshops.
Resources from the workshop are available online at
A video of the presentations will also be available.