Glebe energy transitions

Chief Investigators

Purpose of project

A large portion of the building stock projected to exist in 2050 has already been constructed, including numerous social housing dwellings within New South Wales. To achieve net-zero emissions, substantial upgrades in energy performance are crucial for these existing structures. Such improvements offer potential for significant health and well-being gains, particularly for vulnerable members of society. 

Effective large-scale energy retrofitting necessitates a sustainable delivery model that fosters household trust and equitable value creation. Since late 2021, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), through its Climate Impact Lab (CIL), has undertaken extensive stakeholder engagement to comprehend energy concerns from the tenant perspective. The CIL serves as a platform for extending UTS’s climate change efforts beyond campus boundaries and into local communities. 

Focusing on the inner-Sydney suburb of Glebe, this initiative has identified opportunities for integrated interventions encompassing energy use reduction and thermal comfort enhancement, aiming to achieve greater value synergies than isolated measures. This project encompasses an initial value-sharing analysis and modelling phase alongside community housing providers and program delivery partners. The collected insights will inform a planned pilot program, paving the way for subsequent scaling and widespread implementation of the established delivery model. 


Key aspects: 

  • Pre-existing building stock, including social housing in NSW, poses a significant energy consumption challenge. 
  • Enhancing energy performance of these structures contributes to both environmental and social well-being goals. 
  • UTS is actively developing a reliable and equitable delivery model for social housing energy retrofits. 
  • The initial focus on Glebe serves as a springboard for future expansion and broader societal impact. 

Impact of project

This project kickstarts a revolutionary program transforming homes across Australia. Expect slashed emissions, lower energy bills, and healthier living for vulnerable residents, thanks to: 

  • Rooftop solar for all: houses and apartments powered by sunshine, with smart monitoring. 
  • Cozy homes, naturally: draught proofing, insulation, and curtains keeping summer heat out and winter heat in.  
  • Smarter water: efficient water heating fuelled by renewable energy, tracked by smart meters. 
  • Electric future (optional): ditch gas for induction stoves, clean heating, and hot water. 
  • This project also paves the way for easier energy upgrades, guiding both CHP providers and state governments. 

Project partners – industry and research

UTS (Lead), Bridge Housing, NSW DCCEEW 

Industry Reference Group members

Allume Energy, BOOM Power, Glebe Youth Services, NSW Land and Housing Corporation 

Project code


Page last updated 22 March 2024