Energy bill relief package for households and small business

Published: 3 Sep 2017

Released by: The Premier

NSW households struggling with increasing power prices could save hundreds of dollars a year off their energy bills through discounts on energy efficient appliances, rebates will increase by 20 per cent, and small businesses could save up to $1,900 a year under the nation’s most comprehensive energy relief package announced today by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

In addition, energy rebates for concession cardholders will increase by $50 per year to $285 and rebates for other eligible households will increase by $30 per year to $180, helping about 900,000 households doing it tough.

Around 10,000 small businesses will also be able to access discounts to upgrade inefficient equipment, which could lead to bill savings of up to $1,900 per year.

“We understand rising energy costs are putting pressure on people. This is a national issue but the NSW Government is strongly committed to doing what it can to help,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The energy affordability package includes:

  • The Low Income Household rebate increased from $235 to $285 and the Family Energy Rebate increased from $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.

As an example, a household could receive a discount of about $200 for an energy efficient air conditioner to replace an older heater to save them about $225 a year on their bill.

A café owner could receive a $400 discount on replacing an old refrigeration system with a new energy efficient cool room which, combined with other measures, could lead to bill savings of up to $1900 per year.

Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin said all energy rebates will increase by 20 per cent and energy retailers will be forced to scrap early termination fees, paper bill fees and fees for paying over the counter at Australia Post.

“These changes will protect and empower energy consumers who deserve a fair go, and it’ll make the retailers step up too,” Mr Harwin said.

“Our existing vulnerable household appliance program has already helped 17,600 households slash their bills by up to $200 a year, meaning we are helping the environment while helping consumers,” Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said.

The discount figures will be finalised after the program goes through the tender process and the amount each household and business will save will depend on the number of upgrades they choose to install and their power usage.

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