Energy bill relief package update

Article published 28 March 2018

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Some changes

The NSW energy bill relief package promises some much needed help to pensioners and other low income households with the rising cost of energy.

The Low Income Household Rebate has been increased from $235 to $285 and the Family Energy Rebate from $150 to $180. This was backdated to July 2017.

Other important changes announced in the relief package were new rules to protect vulnerable consumers from energy retailers.

One promise was to end ‘unnecessary’ charges from retailers. The NSW Government has amended the Social Programs Code for Energy so that as of 1 January 2018, no energy retailer can charge fees for paper bills.

However, there has been no word about the much awaited ban on exit fees and late fees.

The other big promise was to penalise retailers who don’t move rebate recipients to a better energy deal.

The idea was that retailers create a basic no frills service offer and would support vulnerable consumers to sign up. Depending on how this was implemented it would have offered protection from price gouging retailers looking to make a quick buck at the expense of already disadvantaged people.

Sadly, there has been no more news about when, if or how this will be enforced.

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