HOUSEHOLDS having trouble paying their energy bills will be able to access up to $1,600 a year in help after Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean increased support payments.
The Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) program has helped 49,000 NSW households experiencing short-term financial hardship with their energy bills. From Monday, each application will have its limit increased from $300 to $400, up to a maximum of $1,600 a year.
“Eligible customers can receive payment assistance of up to $400 per application for electricity and up to $400 per application for gas bills twice a year,” Mr Kean said.
“This means the annual maximum limit of vouchers has increased from $1,200 to $1,600 per household.”
The boost to assistance for electricity and gas bills comes as the Australian Energy Regulator released its final determination today showing NSW energy customers on standing offers will face price increases from July 1.
The price increases are driven primarily by external factors including the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has affected supply and led to global price pressures on coal and gas. Extreme weather events in NSW and Queensland have also had an impact on prices.
The extra assistance is part of a $330M per year package the NSW government is providing which also includes energy rebates to around one million households.
“With cost-of-living pressures increasing, colder weather arriving and days shortening, we want to make sure households in NSW not only keep the lights on but keep their families safe, warm and comfortable,” Mr Kean said.
Eligible households can also apply for different rebates including the Low Income Household Rebate, Gas Rebate, Family Energy Rebate, and Seniors Energy Rebate.
Around 800,000 households received the Low Income Household Rebate last year and 286,000 received the Gas Rebate.
Customers can see what they are eligible for by using the Service NSW Savings Finder at www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/savings-finder, by phoning 13 77 88 or visiting a Service NSW centre.
Households and small businesses can also use the free and independent Australian Government service – Energy Made Easy to compare energy plans: www.energymadeeasy.gov.au