The Yarra Energy Foundation is committed to social equity, and believes everyone has the right to access affordable, renewable and reliable energy. While the clean energy transition offers many opportunities for improving lives, these opportunities are unfortunately not equally available to everyone.
In late 2022, the Yarra Energy Foundation was awarded AusNet’s inaugural Vulnerability Research Grant. The annual grant of $30,000 offers social service organisations the opportunity to work together with AusNet, the electricity distribution network service provider for eastern Victoria, to better understand their customers’ needs. You can learn more about AusNet’s grant program here.
This research project investigates how AusNet can improve the outcomes and service provision for customers with diverse capabilities who experience vulnerability – the state of being susceptible to harm due to sensitivity to, and exposure to, a particular hazard (REF). Vulnerability can occur due to a variety of reasons, including a combination of environmental, geographic, economic, social and personal factors.
The research focuses specifically on the experience and perspectives of those with specialised support needs, such as those living with disability or chronic health conditions (and their families and support networks).
These individuals may experience heightened risks or impacts relating to the reliability and affordability of electricity (e.g., for critical needs), extreme weather events, or due to constraints regarding communication.
We are actively seeking participants for this research project. Your involvement or assistance would be warmly appreciated. The aims of the research, and what your involvement would mean, are explored below.
This project is led by YEF’s Energy and Storage Officer, Lachlan Hensey, who has a decade of experience working in the disability sector.