Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock MP have today announced that for the first time, self-funded retirees across the Illawarra and South Coast will be among 130,000 seniors across NSW who will be able to claim $200 a year to help with their power bill, thanks to a new initiative from the NSW Government.
Mr Ward said that the rebate will be available to customers who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card through Service NSW centres and online.
“This new rebate will mean more seniors across the Illawarra and South Coast will get the cost of living support they deserve,” he said.
“The NSW Government understands energy costs are putting pressure on people with fixed incomes and this new policy has been made possible because of the strong economic management of this Government.
“We have already introduced a range of reforms to put downward pressure on energy bills, including increasing rebates by 20 per cent and cutting $7 billion in costs from the electricity networks,” Mr Ward said.
Mrs Hancock said that the NSW Government has also provided discounts on energy efficiency upgrades for thousands of families and small businesses, and introduced the Energy Switch service to help households get a better electricity deal and increase competition in the retail energy sector.
“The NSW Government invests $300 million each year on energy rebates, with almost one third of all electricity customers receiving a rebate,” she said.
“The NSW Government’s existing vulnerable household appliance program has already helped 17,600 households cut their bills by up to $200 a year.
“I’m really pleased that we are able to give something back to South Coast seniors to help take the pressure off households.
“South Coast pensioners already benefit from rebates, and this new program will ensure that seniors across our region who have worked hard for their retirement will have much-needed hip-pocket relief now too,” Mrs Hancock said.
The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card applies to Australians aged 65 and over, with an income of up to $54,929 a year for singles and $87,884 a year for couples.