The Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s Energy + Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement of additional support for NSW households struggling to afford rising energy bills.
NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, today announced an increase in the cap on the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) scheme from $1200 to $1600 per year, with $400 in support now available each application for both gas and electricity.
The scheme provides direct contributions to energy bills to assist households when they are experiencing difficulty paying and may be in danger of debt and disconnection.
‘Yesterday’s increase in the Default Market Offer will cost NSW households up to $227 per year, and comes at a time when the rising cost of living is leaving many people struggling to afford the essentials,’ said Douglas McCloskey, PIAC’s Energy and Water Program Director.
‘We know that as bills continue to rise, more and more NSW households will be forced to choose between using the energy they need and going without other essentials.’
While we welcome today’s announcement, we also recommend the NSW Government consider increasing EAPA permanently and making the full $1600 amount available to households who only have electricity.
‘To ensure this support helps people who need it when they need it, the full amount of potential assistance should be available regardless of whether the household has gas.’
‘PIAC looks forward to continuing working with the NSW government to ensure all NSW households can afford their essential energy,’ added Douglas McCloskey.
People needing EAPA support should contact Service NSW or their nearest community EAPA provider listed on the Service NSW website.
Media contact: Media and Communications Manager, Gemma Pearce: 0478 739 280.