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Power-saving help on offer

Friday, 17th June, 2011

POWER SAVER: Broken Hill's Deanne Lyall works for Fieldforce Service Ltd and provides eligible households with a free home power assessment and power savings kit under a NSW Government program. POWER SAVER: Broken Hill's Deanne Lyall works for Fieldforce Service Ltd and provides eligible households with a free home power assessment and power savings kit under a NSW Government program.

Locals are being encouraged to be as frugal as possible to help cut the cost of their rising power bills.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) this week announced electricity bills were set to rise by as much as 18.1 per cent in the next financial year, with more price rises expected next year.

A spokesman for IPART said customers could compare prices from different electricity providers on a website they run: http://www.myenergyoffers.nsw.gov.au.

It includes offers available from residential energy retailers within Broken Hill including Country Energy, AGL, TRU Energy, Origin Energy, red energy, Lumo Energy, Integral Energy and Power Direct.

The prices listed do not yet include the 2011/2012 regulated tariff set by IPART.

Pensioners, veterans and other low income families are also invited to sign up for a free NSW Government program that will help save up to 20 per cent of their power use and cut bills.

Minister for the Environment, Robyn Parker, said more than 36,000 pensioners and families on a low income had taken up the offer of a free home power assessment and power savings kit.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment and Heritage said up until May 31 this year, 625 households in the region had joined the program. Of these, 382 are in Broken Hill.

On average, each household is expected to save $231 a year.

Households who join get a free:

  • Home power assessment by an energy expert;
  • Power Savings Kit installed by the energy expert - worth around $200 - containing a stand-by saver power board, energy efficient light globes, a water efficient showerhead, shower timer, draught proofing and more;
  • Personal Power Savings Action Plan which lists free and low cost ways for the household to save power, money and cut carbon pollution.

The Home Power Savings Program is open to NSW residents who have a Centrelink Pensioner Concession, Low Income Health Care, Veterans' Affairs

Pensioner Concession or Veterans' Affairs Repatriation Health card.

People registered with an energy utility hardship program and social housing tenants are also eligible.

Eligible households should call 1300 662 416 to book their free home power assessment with local assessor Deanne Lyall. 

Visit www.savepower.nsw.gov.au/freehelp for more information.

Origin Energy - which took over from the city's default electricity retail provider Country Energy earlier this year - also offered advice to customers to help manage energy bills .

Origin General Retail Manager Phil Craig said there were a number of measures people could take.

"By making small changes around the house, such as turning appliances off at the wall, it is possible to make a real difference to your energy bills."

People can visit Origin's Energy Institute, an online energy saving resource for further advice on using energy more efficiently to help save money and reduce their impact on the environment.

Origin Energy also offers financial hardship assistance by developing payment plans, commissioning energy audits and assisting people to access any direct Government assistance for which they are eligible.

For more information visit www.originenergy.com.au 

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