Energy saver scheme helping vulnerable people in Greenway
The Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, and the Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland, visited the Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre today to meet people benefitting from the Australian Government’s Home Energy Saver Scheme (HESS).
Ms Collins said Bridging the Gap, based in St Marys, are one of 16 organisations across Australia benefitting from a $2.1 million investment in HESS services by energy provider AGL.
“The Australian Government’s $50 million investment in HESS will see around 100,000 low-income Australians assisted to reduce their energy costs,” Ms Collins said.
“AGL’s funding boost will allow HESS service providers to offer even more support to vulnerable Australians.
“The $2.1 million will be shared by organisations in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
“HESS is providing practical help on how to become more energy efficient and reduce power bills.
“This assistance can include one-on-one budgeting assistance, help to access no interest loans or low-interest loans to buy energy efficient appliances and advice on eligibility for rebates and other assistance,” Ms Collins said.
Ms Rowland said HESS is part of the Australian Government’s plan for a Clean Energy Future.
“The scheme adds to the Gillard Government’s range of measures and payments to help families with their energy bills now and into the future,” Ms Rowland said.
“Electricity and gas costs form a large part of household bills, and a plan to save energy around your home and manage your money, no matter how little or how much you have, will help you feel more secure.
“Under HESS, eligible households can have trained staff work one-on-one with people to advise on the best ways to cut energy bills, improve energy efficiency and to assist with the purchase of more efficient white goods.
“There is also a range of practical advice available through HESS that can help all of us use less energy at home.”
Ms Collins said the scheme is delivered through not-for-profit organisations, such as Bridging the Gap, that already provide general financial counselling services, with national coordination by Kildonan UnitingCare in Victoria.
“Just by making small changes around the house, like turning off the lights or getting the most energy efficient washing machine you can afford, people can save some money on their energy bills,” Ms Collins said.
“The trained advisers sit down and talk to people about how to make all the little changes that add up to extra money in their pockets.”
People who face trouble managing their energy needs and bills, are at risk of having their power disconnected, or are on an energy retailer’s hardship scheme can call the HESS Freecall Helpline on 1800 007 001 to find out how HESS can assist.
More information on HESS is also available at www.fahcsia.gov.au/HESS