Western Australia Minister for Energy Peter Collier
State Budget 2010-11: Rebates And Assistance For Electricity Consumers
Victor P Taffa
The Western Australia State Government has increased funding for rebates and hardship assistance measures for electricity consumers.
Energy Minister Peter Collier said more than $18.8 Million would be provided to eligible customers to help ease financial pressure of rising energy prices.
“We are mindful that price increases are impacting on West Australian householders, particularly struggling families, and have provided a considerable assistance package for those people who are deemed to be in financial hardship.” Mr. Collier said.
“This is on top of $12.6 Million in rebates and hardship measures provided last year to offset electricity prices.”
“These families will once again be a priority this year, with rebates increasing in line with electricity tariff rises.” Mr. Collier said.
Payments provided through the Hardship Utilities Grant Scheme (HUGS) increased from $380 to $408 from April 1 and $450 from July 1 for households in the State’s South, while payments for households north of the 26th parallel increased from $633 to $680 on April 1, and $750 from July 1.
Other assistance measures include:
- Fridge Replacement Program;
- Hardship Efficiency Program;
- Public Housing Energy Efficiency Program;
- Solar Hot Water Scheme;
- Hardship and Energy Efficiency Programs in regional locations.
Additional support includes providing efficient water heating in public and community housing, and increasing the number of financial counsellors funded through the HUGS program.
In addition, the Government is working closely with the WA Council of Social Services (WACOSS) to examine alternative electricity pricing structures for low income earners and also consider a more equitable concession framework.
Eligible customers with dependent children can also receive additional funding and rebates are available for air conditioning.