The Victorian Government is encouraging households doing it tough with energy bills to apply for the one-off $250 Power Saving Bonus payment, as the 12-month program marks more than 320,000 payments to Victorians totalling $80 million.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today called on all eligible households to take advantage of the one-off $250 payment before the program ends on 31 January 2022.
This includes households receiving payments through the Pension Concession, JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance programs, or who hold a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card.
With electricity bills a top cost of living issue and about 20 per cent of Victorian households requesting financial assistance with bills in 2020, the program aims to reduce cost of living pressure with a $250 payment transferred electronically into bank accounts or provided via cheque on request, typically taking about two weeks to arrive.
Around one-third of remaining eligible households are in the areas of Casey, Greater Geelong, Hume, Brimbank, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Greater Dandenong, Mornington Peninsula, Knox, Moreland and Frankston.
Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy, and Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly encouraged community members to check their eligibility and apply for the payment by calling 1800 000 832 or visiting compare.energy.vic.gov.au.
To assist eligible households who may not have access to a computer or require assistance with their application, the Government is providing support through the Power Saving Bonus Community Outreach Program.
Outreach Program partners include the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Consumer Policy Research Centre, Good Shepherd and Neighbourhood House, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, Consumer Action Law Centre, and State Trustees Limited.
The Power Saving Bonus, part of a $797 million household energy affordability package, is delivered through the Government’s Victorian Energy Compare website, which sees more than one million visitors each year.
The website helps consumers find the best energy deal available, with data showing seven out of every ten users save money by switching energy offers and a typical annual saving of $330.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“This one-off $250 payment provides immediate financial relief for those struggling to pay their power bills."
“The Government is determined to bring this important program to as many vulnerable households as we can, whether that’s through a quick call with the Victorian Energy Compare helpline or encouraging children and grandchildren to help elderly Victorians apply online.”
Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas
“This $250 payment helps reduce household bill pressure, and I call on all pension concession, JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance recipients – or if you know someone who is – to apply.”
Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy
“This program is providing direct support to many lower income households in Hobsons Bay and Wyndham by reducing household bill pressure, and I call on all residents to check the eligibility requirements and submit an application online or call the Victorian Energy Compare helpline.”
Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly
“Victorian Energy Compare is saving households hundreds of dollars on energy bills every year. I encourage everyone in Wyndham to visit the site and find a better deal on their gas and electricity.”