Help available to find better QLD electricity deals
Vulnerable electricity consumers in South-East Queensland now have access to a range of assistance programs to help them to shop around and save on their electricity bills.
Queensland Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said that as part of the transition to a deregulated retail electricity price market in South-East Queensland, electricity retailer AGL has provided $500,000 of funding through its Switched On Communities program to organisations to support vulnerable consumers to get a better electricity deal.
The community organisations are:
Multilink Community Services
Queenslanders with Disability Network
Laidley & District Community Organisation
Coast2Bay Housing Group
Palm Beach Neighbourhood Centre.
“Lower income households spend proportionately more of their day to day living expenses on essential requirements such as electricity, so the benefit of better deals and financial savings will potentially have a greater impact for them,” Mr Bailey said.
“The organisations will be offering a mix of targeted support to help South East Queenslanders find the best electricity deals, including one-on-one counselling, telephone support, community workshops, home visits and ‘bring your bill’ advice days.
“The support programs will reach seniors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people facing financial hardship, as well as people not yet fully engaged in South-East Queensland’s energy market.
“I urge people in South-East Queensland who feel they need assistance choosing the best electricity provider, to contact these organisations.”
Council of the Aging Queensland CEO Mark Tucker-Evans said the cost of electricity bills can be a challenge for seniors, particularly pensioners and retirees.
“COTA Queensland will use the grant funding to facilitate education programs across South-East Queensland to ensure seniors had access to information to find the best electricity deal,” Mr Tucker-Evans said.
“Making sure you’re on the best and most affordable plan for your home can lead to very important household savings.
“We look forward to supporting our seniors network to help the Queensland Government spread the ‘how to shop around for electricity deals’ message.”
Queensland Council of Social Service’s Mark Henley said because electricity is an essential service it is vital to ensure that all consumers, particularly low-income households and disadvantaged customers, are informed and able to take advantage of the benefits of electricity competition.”
Deregulation of South East Queensland’s retail electricity market became effective on 1 July 2016 following the recommendation of the Queensland Productivity Commission.
For more information call (07) 3004 6900 and see www.qcoss.org.au
14 September 2016.