Households in the dark on promised $1b energy upgrade

The $1 billion allocated to Australia's green bank for household energy upgrades is yet to reach a single home, a senate budget hearing has been told.

Parliamentary hearings examining the 2024/25 budget on Tuesday instead found no spending from a fund established in 2023 to help Australians save money on power bills.

The fund was set up to provide discounted consumer finance for energy efficiency upgrades, new appliances and battery-ready solar panels.

Assistant Minister for Energy Jenny McAllister said the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been looking for financing partners and has received a "very enthusiastic response" from the market.

When finalised, the "co-financiers" will provide discounted loans directly to consumers.

Some $300 million has gone to states to develop energy upgrades for public housing, and local council applications have closed for $100 million for sports grounds and other facilities, she told a senate estimates committee.

Quizzed by independent senator David Pocock about how much had actually gone out the door, officials were unable to say how much of the state monies had been spent.

"People around this table can afford to have solar, potentially a battery, induction cook stove, drive an EV and you're basically not paying anything for energy," he told the environment committee.

"People who can't afford that are getting absolutely slammed for energy bills and paying international prices for our gas," Senator Pocock said.

Meanwhile, the United States in April launched a "solar for all" program that will roll out rooftop panels for nearly one million low-income households as part of a US$US7 billion ($A11 billion) program.

"I'd love to see urgency around helping households with the transition, because people want to do it," Senator Pocock said.

The $300 rebate for energy bills would be better spent on getting people off expensive power, he said.

Senator McAllister said energy efficiency was a fledgling industry that the federal government was starting from scratch, and the energy rebate was an important cost of living measure.