Electricity bill relief package welcome news for households doing it tough

PIAC’s Energy + Water Consumers Advocacy Program (EWCAP) has welcomed the NSW electricity bill relief package, announced yesterday.

EWCAP Team Leader, Craig Memery said that the full package, which includes a combination of rebates and discounts for low-income households and small businesses, makes good sense.

‘Electricity bills have more than doubled over the past decade, and low-income households have been the hardest hit,’ said Craig Memery.

‘We welcome this package which will provide some relief for many households and businesses across the state.’

‘Electricity is an essential service and by including rebates for equipment upgrades, this package increases capacity for individuals to continue to reap savings.

‘Importantly, this fills an accountability gap left by the prime minister in his recent negotiations with energy retailer CEOs,’ added Craig Memery.

The package includes:

  • An increase in the Low Income Household rebate from $235 to $285 and the Family Energy Rebate $150 to $180 to help around 900,000 customers struggling to pay their bill.
  • Discounts on equipment upgrades for small business to save each business up to $1900 on their yearly bill.
  • Discounts for energy efficient lighting and air conditioning upgrades for all households that could lead to bill savings of up to $500 per household per year.
  • Discounts for up to 23,000 concession cardholders to save up to 50 per cent on the cost of upgrading old fridges and TVs to energy saving models, saving each household an average of around $200 a year.
  • An end to unnecessary charges from retailers such as fees for paper bills.
  • Penalties for retailers who don’t move rebate recipients to a better deal.
  • Energy saving upgrades for up to 16,500 public housing clients to assist the state’s most vulnerable, with participating households to save an average of around $360 per year on their bills.

Media contact: Media and Communiations Manager Gemma Pearce 0478 739 280.

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