SENIORS, Pensioners, Health Care Card holders, and asylum seekers in Queensland are being encouraged to take advantage of the concessions and rebates on offer to help cut the cost of their electricity bills.
The state government allocated an additional $170 million in April to make Health Care Card Holders and asylum seekers eligible for the Electricity Rebate.
The reform provides $340.85 assistance for low-income households and any health care card holder or asylum seeker.
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Treasurer and Acting Minister for Energy, Curtis Pitt said of the estimated 157,000 people who are eligible, fewer than 10 per cent have taken up the offer.
“That means not enough Health Care Card holders know the rebate exists to help them, so we will be ramping up our push to ensure eligible Queenslanders know about the entitlement and encouraging them to apply.
“This is one of the few times as Treasurer that I want to see money getting out the door, so I encourage seniors, health care card holders and asylum seekers to contact their electricity retailers and apply for this concession.
“Any Health Care Card holder or asylum seeker who applies before the 31 December 2017 will get this assistance back-dated to 1 January 2017.”
“Also, Queensland Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and Department of Veterans Affairs (Gold Card) holders will continue to be eligible for the rebate.”
Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government had also improved protections for vulnerable customers.
“The Palaszczuk Government understands the pressure electricity prices have on Queenslanders and that is why we’ve invested $1.16 billion through our Powering Queensland Plan to put downward pressure on electricity costs for consumers,” he said.
“This includes $770 million to slash the expected price increase for Queenslanders by more than half.”
Earlier this year, the government streamlined the application process for the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme, allowing customers in financial trouble to access emergency assistance and avoid disconnection.
The scheme provides low-income households experiencing an emergency or crisis up to $720 once every two years towards their energy debt.
To apply for this assistance or to find out more, customers are urged to talk to their energy retailer.
For details on electricity rebates and eligibility criteria, click here.
For information on what the Queensland Government is doing to help with cost-of-living pressures, click here.