Hundreds of thousands miss payments of up to $750
Hundreds of thousands of Australians are missing out on concessions on electricity bills – possibly because they don’t know they’re entitled to them.
A study released this week by the Consumer Policy Research Center estimates how many people take advantage of concession or rebate schemes, which are available in all jurisdictions except Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Politicians clash over electricity price pain.
For more Personal Finance news and videos, visit Personal Finance >>
The newspaper found that about 41 percent of eligible ACT residents did not receive the concessions.
A utility subsidy in the nation’s capital is valued at $750 per year and is reserved for concession card holders.
The second-largest number of people who missed out was in South Australia, where 38 per cent of eligible consumers did not receive any discounts they were entitled to.
In South Australia, rebates of up to $242 a year are available for those struggling to pay their bills – almost $10 more than last year due to indexation.
In New South Wales, 35 percent claim no discount.
The low-income household rebate was introduced to help low-income households in NSW cover the cost of their energy bills.
Households receive the rebate as a credit on each quarterly energy bill, up to a total of $285 per year.
In Queensland, an estimated 29 percent of eligible customers missed out on discounts of up to $453 on electricity and gas.
Eligible concession card holders will receive rebates of $372.20 on electricity and $80.77 on gas.
In Tasmania, it was estimated that about 19 per cent of those eligible for the state’s one-off winter energy aid package were missing out.
It is estimated that around 93 per cent of Victorians claim a rebate on their electricity, 88 per cent on gas bill reductions and 78 per cent on their water bill.
However, the Consumer Policy Research Center suggested it was likely underestimating how many were missed.
The research comes after the federal budget warned that utility bills would rise by more than 50 percent in the next two years.
Gas prices are expected to rise by 40 percent.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said rising prices are a big part of the inflationary pressures the nation is facing and admitted he doesn’t know when people can expect costs to come down.
“There’s no point in pretending otherwise… we’re going to have these challenges ahead of us a little longer than we’d like, which is why easing the cost of living is so important,” he told ABC TV.
But Chalmers said climate and environmental finance would indirectly lower electricity prices.
The budget included $20 billion over 10 years for cheap financing of new power transmission lines and a $1.9 billion fund to support jobs and emissions reductions in the regions.
“Renewable energy isn’t just clean energy, it’s cheaper energy,” Chalmers said.
“There is more work to be done when it comes to the electricity market, we understand these electricity prices are making it harder for Australians who are already under the pump.”
Labor made a campaign pledge to cut utility bills by $275 by 2025.
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/personal-finance/hundreds-of-thousands-missing-out-on-payments-of-up-to-750-c-8731735 Hundreds of thousands miss payments of up to $750