Western Australia Minister for Energy Peter Collier
Review Of Electricity Pricing To Help Ease Financial Pressure On WA Households
Victor P Taffa
The Western Australia State Government has launched a review to examine alternative electricity pricing structures for West Australian households.
Energy Minister Peter Collier said the Government would work closely with the WA Council of Social Services (WACOSS) to review the tariff structure for low income earners and also consider a more equitable concession framework.
Mr. Collier said this was one of many new measures the Government announced last week to help ease the financial impact of rising energy prices.
“The Government has made the difficult decision regarding electricity pricing, yet we must be responsible to ensure the State has a secure and reliable energy system.” the Minister said.
“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.”
“As a part of this, we will work closely with WACOSS to consider support measures for low income households.”
The Government announced last week that more than $16.8 Million would be made available through rebates and hardship assistance programs, in addition to a further $12.6 Million provided last year.
Payments through the Hardship Utilities Grant Scheme (HUGS) will increase 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 will rise from $633 to $680 from April 1 and $750 from July 1.
Other assistance measures include the Fridge Replacement Scheme; Hardship Efficiency Program; Public Housing Efficiency Program; Solar Hot Water Scheme; and delivery of 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.
Eligible customers with dependent children can also receive additional funding and rebates are available for air conditioning.