As Greater Sydney enters its twelfth week of lockdowns, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. However, that doesn’t mean people haven’t been doing it tough staying at home for the past three months.
There are several services on offer that can assist with managing the cost of living.
Cost of Living specialist appointments
Service NSW is offering free one-on-one, hour-long phone appointments with a cost-of-living specialist. A cost-of-living specialist can identify a personalised list of available savings. You can book an appointment by clicking here or by calling Service NSW on 13 77 88.
Staying at home for prolonged periods leads to increased energy consumption which of course results in expensive energy bills. Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) vouchers now offer up to $1,600 in energy bill assistance. Read this article that details the recent increases to EAPA vouchers.
EAPA vouchers are available to people experiencing a short-term financial crisis – COVID-19 related or not. You can apply for EAPA vouchers through Service NSW or a participating Non-Government Organisation (NGO). You can find a list of NGO providers at this link under the subheading ‘Apply through a non-government EAPA provider’. NGOs do not require an email to receive EAPA vouchers, so for people without emails this may be the best approach.
EAPA vouchers are not charity. EAPA vouchers are used to provide short term financial relief. During these COVID-19 impacted times, Service NSW has reported an increased demand for EAPA assistance especially from people accessing the scheme for the first time.
Energy Made Easy
Currently, the best way to save on energy bills is to shop around. Energymadeeasy.gov.au is an independent website run by the Australian Government that compares your current energy plan to all other offers on the market, showing you the best offer available.