NSW Government energy relief package - What does it mean for your household?

By Ceyda Erem ·

Residents in NSW may no longer have to look at their energy bills with one eye open, thanks to the state’s “most comprehensive energy relief package”, which was launched yesterday. 

The package will offer increased discounts for NSW households and small businesses that use energy efficient appliances and rebates on energy bills for concession card holders and families who receive the Family Tax Benefit. 

“We understand rising energy costs are putting pressure on people. This is a national issue but the NSW Government is strongly committed to doing what it can to help,” NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian said. 

Here is a summary of the package:

  • Concession cardholders will have access to higher energy rebates, which will start with increases of $50 per year to $285, along with a 50% discount when upgrading older appliances to new energy saving products 
  • The Family Energy Rebate increased from $150 to $180, with the Low Income Family Rebate jumping from $235 to $285 
  • NSW Households could save $500 on their energy bill by updating their air conditioning or lighting 
  • Energy retailers will no longer be able to charge customers for paper bill fees or a paying over the counter fee and could receive a penalty if they do not offer rebate recipients to a better deal 

RELATED: Who has the cheapest electricity plans in your state?

Small businesses will also be able to receive discounts of up to $1900 on their yearly bills by upgrading equipment, like old fridges or cooling rooms.

“These changes will protect and empower energy consumers who deserve a fair go, and it’ll make the retailers step up too,” Energy and Utilities Minister, Don Harwin said. 

How to apply for the Family Energy Rebate:

Once you’ve lodged your 2016-2017 tax return or informed the Department of Human Services (DHS), you’ll need to have the following in order to apply online for the Family Energy Rebate:

  • Your customer reference number (CRN)
  • An email address 
  • Your contact and energy retailer details 
  • Your Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) number (if applicable)
  • A copy of your recent electricity bill

Applying for the Appliance Replacement Offer:

If you are a NSW resident and hold a Concession, Health Care or Veterans Affair Gold Card, you’ll be able to replace the following: 

  • A fridge that is 6 years old or older and receive a 40% discount 
  • A plasma or a cathode ray tube (CRT) television and receive a 50% discount 

Other ways to save on your energy bill:

Set the perfect temperature - Did you know that by adding 1 degree higher for heating and 1 degree lower for cooling can increase the running cost of your appliance by 10%? This is why it’s important to take the time to work out the difference between outdoor and indoor temperatures in order to lower your energy consumption. We recommend temperatures between 18°C and 21°C in winter and 23°C and 26°C in summer. 

Wash clothes in cold water - While you may think you’re treating your favourite pair of jeans to a good quality, warm wash, all you’ve really done is use unnecessary energy. Try washing your clothes in cold water instead - there’s no difference in the quality of the wash, plus you’ll save on the amount energy used. 

Turn off appliances at the switch - This is something we’re all guilty of doing and are unknowingly leaking 6% of our total energy bill! Appliances still continue to use energy even when they’re still plugged in so make the effort to turn off appliances at the switch whenever they’re not in use. 

Avoid opening the oven door - Baking can be a highly intense situation as we often linger around the oven door, opening and closing it frequently. While you don’t want your cookies to burn, you also don’t want to hike up your energy bill, so try to reduce the number of times you open the oven door while cooking, as each time you do, heat escapes and increases cooking time. 

Switch providers -  One of the best ways to save a bundle on your energy bill is by shopping around to find a provider who’s going to give you the best deal. Check out Mozo’s energy comparison tool to see how much you could save by making the switch. 

Thinking of switching to save on your energy bill? Make life simple and compare NSW energy providers with ease with Mozo. 

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Ceyda Erem
Ceyda Erem
Money writer

Ceyda Erem is Mozo’s authority on Energy, as well as having broader expertise as a personal finance writer. She loves to put her researching and writing talents into stories that help our readers to make more informed financial choices, whether that’s about finding the best energy deal or writing about the latest sneaky bank tricks. Ceyda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in writing) from Macquarie University.