Power bill busting schemes that matter

Article published 8 August 2022

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Looking for ways to knock dollars off your bill beyond managing your hot water?

CPSA News has done a round-up of what, if anything, the various state and territory governments in Australia offer in the way additional initiatives to reduce their citizens’ power bills. Additional as in: beyond the usual rebates for low-income households.

And surprise, surprise, most are doing their level-best! That doesn’t mean there will be something for everyone, but … they’re trying.

Starting of with New South Wales, the Government there has rolled out its Energy Bill Buster program.

Energy Bill Buster is available to people with a Pensioner Concession Card or DVA Gold Card who receive the Low Income Household Rebate. Now, will it do exactly as it promises and bust your power bills?

If you’re a NSW homeowner, they’re offering a solar system that saves you up to $600 a year on your energy bill.

Alternatively, if you’re a renter or a home-owner with a sunless roof or an apartment owner, you needn’t miss out.

You can get up to $4,000 worth of energy efficient appliances. A no-obligation energy assessment can help decide what will save you the most.

This includes things you might expect like fridges and air conditioners, but also house improvements to increase your energy efficiency like window shading or draught sealing.

Does $4,000 sound a bit too good to be true to you? Well, you would be right, because while it is ‘free’ in the sense you won’t have to pay anything upfront, it will cost you your Low Income Household Rebate for the next ten years.

This is worth $285 a year, so it’s not $4,000 but $1,150 that’s on offer, plus the value of any energy savings.

Victoria has two similar programs with their Solar Panel Rebate and Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades.

The Solar Panel Rebate is for homeowners with less than $180,000 of combined income and offers a $1,400 rebate, with an extra $1,400 available as an optional no-interest loan to be repaid over four years.

The Heating and Cooling Upgrades are for homeowners with an income less than $90,000 and a valid concession card. With this you can receive a rebate up to $1,700 to replace an old heater with a new energy efficient air conditioner.

This is also available to rental providers whose tenants fit the eligibility requirements.

In the Northern Territory the Home and Business Battery Scheme provides homeowners a grant of up to $6,000 for the installation of a solar battery, and solar panels if you don’t already have them.

The ACT has their Sustainable Household Scheme which offers an interest free loan between $2,000 and $15,000 for homeowners to install solar panels, batteries or energy efficient appliances.

And lastly, Tasmania is getting ready to roll out their Energy Saver Loan Scheme that will offer interest free loans up to $10,000 for energy efficient products.

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