NEW SOUTH WALES: If something seems too good to be true, then it usually is. But there are exceptions to every rule.
Introducing the NSW Government’s Home Power Savings Program, an innovative scheme which helps to not only reduce your carbon footprint, but ease the pressure on your household budget amid the spiralling cost of electricity.
And yes, you get a pile of free stuff as well!
The Home Power Savings Program has been set up to provide free help and resources to 220,000 low income households in NSW before June 2013, with households that join saving up to 20 percent on their power bills.
The funding is available under the NSW 2021 Plan, the NSW Government’s 10-year plan to “rebuild the economy, return quality services, renovate infrastructure, strengthen our local environment and communities and restore accountability to Government.”
Already, more than 50,000 households have signed up, with each saving an average $265 a year on their annual bills. And all you have to do is ring a 1300 number to make a booking.
An energy expert will visit your house, do an assessment on your energy usage (which takes about an hour), and then leave with you a free Power Saving Kit and some important information on how you can reduce your energy bills even further. The value of the kit is around $200, and includes a stand-by saver power board, energy efficient light globes, a water efficient showerhead, shower timer, draught-proofing strips and more.
The energy adviser will also give you a Power Savings Action Plan, which lists free and low-cost ways for your household to save power, money and cut carbon pollution.
Chairman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Stephen Ryan said the initiative would help ease the financial pressure on stressed Aboriginal households, and deliver a dividend to the environment in the process.
“This program is a great way to save walang (money) and the assistance is free,” Chairman Ryan said.
“The added benefit is the impact on our environment. Aboriginal people didn’t create the mess our landscape is now in, but we have to be part of the solution and this program is a good way to start.
“It’s one of those few occasions when inviting a government representative into your home is actually a good thing.”
“The Home Power Savings Program is a very positive resource to help lower income customers who are struggling to pay their electricity bills to better manage their consumption and energy costs”, said Clare Petre, Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW.
The program is open to NSW residents who have either a Centrelink Pensioner Concession or Low Income Health Care card, a Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Concession or Veterans’ Affairs Repatriation Health card (Gold or White), or are an energy utility hardship customer or a social housing tenant. Aboriginal households are being strongly encouraged to apply.
You can book a free assessment through the Home Power Savings Program on 1300 662 416 or visit www.savepower.nsw.gov.au/freehelp for more information.
And for more information on the NSW2021 plan, visit www.2021.nsw.gov.au
The Free Stuff
WITH the Home Power Savings Program, households get:
• A free home power assessment by an energy expert. It takes about an hour, and shows the householder how much their appliances cost to run and where savings can be made.
• A free Power Savings Kit installed by the energy expert. The value of the kit is around $200 and contains a stand-by saver power board, energy efficient light globes, a water efficient showerhead, shower timer, draught-proofing strips and more.
• A free Power Savings Action Plan, which lists free and low-cost ways for the household to save power, money and cut carbon pollution.