SOLAR AND APPLIANCE UPGRADES TO BUST ENERGY BILLS

Thousands of families will soon be able to cut their energy bills with solar and home appliance upgrades, thanks to a $128 million Energy Bill Buster program in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

Around a third of NSW households are currently receiving an energy rebate to help them with their energy bills. The Energy Bill Buster program will allow eligible households to receive the equivalent of up to 10 years’ worth of rebates in an upfront lump sum contribution towards a free solar system or home appliance upgrade.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said around 1 million NSW households will soon be eligible to choose to receive a free solar system or energy savings upgrade that can save them up to $600 per year.

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“The NSW Government is securing a brighter future for NSW families by helping boost the household budget, taking the pressure off families and small business, leaving more money in your pocket at the end of the week,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Our strong financial management is helping grow the economy, which means more money for services, community amenity and less pressure on households.”

Eligible households can apply to get a free solar system that can save you up to $600 each year, instead of the annual $285 Low Income Household Rebate.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the program will ease cost of living pressures as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and supply chain disruptions push up energy prices.

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“People living in apartments or renting who can’t have solar installed may be eligible to swap their rebate for a suite of energy saving appliance upgrades, helping to reduce demand on the grid and lower power prices for everyone,” Mr Kean said.

“These include energy efficient fridges, dryers, air-conditioners and hot water systems, and upgrades such as window shading and draught sealing valued at up to $4,000.”

The Energy Bill Buster program follows the NSW Government’s recent announcement to increase the number of vouchers available under the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme by 25 per cent to $400 per transaction for households struggling to pay their electricity and gas bills.

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The 2022-23 Budget includes funding to initially help up to 30,000 households under the program, with further funding to be considered based on uptake. Households can find out more and register their interest at energysaver.nsw.gov.au/rebate-swap.

The Energy Bill Buster program replaces the Empowering Homes pilot, following a program evaluation. Applications for the Empowering Homes pilot will close on 31 July 2022.