Turning on a heater in winter doesn’t have to be a luxury for families struggling to pay the bills, with the NSW government stepping in to provide some financial relief.
Households experiencing difficulty paying their energy bills will be able to access up to $1600 a year in support payments from next week, Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean said on Thursday.
“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,” he said.
Eligible customers can receive assistance of up to $400 per application for electricity and up to $400 per application for gas bills twice a year
The much-needed financial shot in the arm, with a package worth $330 million a year, comes as the Australian EnergyRegulator said NSW energy customers would face price increases from July.
The government noted the price hikes were 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.
The slew of natural disasters in recent years, including the floods in northern NSW and Queensland this year, have also affected the grid, driving prices up.
More than a million residents across the state received a low-income household and gas rebate.