To help with the cost of energy bills a state government concession is available to eligible South Australians on low or fixed incomes. The energy concession is to cover both electricity and gas payments (including LPG bottled gas)
Keeping people connected to energy, water and communications
ConnectEd provides utilities training, information sessions and individual case management for people across South Australia.
The program offers home energy visits from qualified assessors, and is adding telecommunications resources to the existing content on electricity, gas and water. Check the website at ConnectEd.org.au for the latest news and information.
Information sessions for community groups
A ConnectEd team member can come and talk to your community group. In a one to two hour session, we focus broadly on energy and water concerns in the community, as well as providing valuable information on ways to help maintain affordable household utilities.
Individual case management
We provide financial counselling case management for individuals and families experiencing difficulty with utilities bills, no matter how simple or complex the situation.
To find out more or make an appointment, contact any of the ConnectEd partners and we’ll connect you – to UCWB if you’re in the Port Adelaide Enfield, Charles Sturt, West Torrens, Holdfast Bay, Marion or Mitcham Council areas; Uniting Country SA if you’re in Yorke and Mid-North, Eyre and Western, or Far North regions; Uniting Communities if you’re elsewhere in the Adelaide metropolitan area or in the southern regions.
The Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES) is a South Australian government initiative that requires energy retailers to help households and businesses save on energy use and costs, and lower their greenhouse gas emissions.
South Australian households and businesses may be able to receive free or discounted energy efficiency activities from energy retailers participating in the REES.
Typical activities include installing energy efficient lighting, or installing water efficient shower heads, helping save water heating costs.
Eligible low-income households may also receive a home energy audit to help them understand how they use energy in their home and practical ways to reduce their consumption. As well as the energy saving activities, you may also be eligible for a free home energy audit if you:
- hold a Commonwealth Government pensioner concession card
- hold a TPI Gold Repatriation Health Card
- hold a War Widows Gold Repatriation Health Card
- hold a Gold Repatriation Health Card (EDA)
- hold a Health Care Card (including a Low Income Health Care Card)
- receive the South Australian government [energy bill concession](https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/care-and-support/financial-support/concessions/energy-bill-concessions)
- are part of an energy retailer’s hardship program
- are participating in an energy retailer's payment plan
- are referred by a financial counsellor.
We understand that things can go wrong and that is why it is important that consumers have access to the Energy and Water Ombudsman SA. We are an independent service that can investigate and resolve disputes between electricity, gas and water retailers and distributors and their customers.
The service is available at no cost to consumers and is readily accessible regardless of ethnicity, language skills, physical or mental abilities or geographic location within South Australia.
The linked website has an informal step by step guides for following your complaint and frequently asked questions so that you can compare your scenario with other examples concerning electricity, water and gas.
"We are a scheme for complaint resolution, not for advocacy. We act independently whilst maintaining good working relationships with our members, consumer organisations and other interested bodies. We are not a government department".
As a not-for-profit public company limited by guarantee and governed by a constitution and charter, our independence is assured by a Board of Directors, equal number of whom are nominated and elected by the industries and directors nominated by the regulator to represent the customers of electricity, gas and water services or public interest groups relevant to those services, and an independent Chair.
Living Smart is a not-for-profit organisation, which aims to share knowledge with individuals and communities on how to live smarter, healthier and in more sustainable ways.
Covering ten main sustainability topics over 6-8 weeks, the volunteer course facilitators are well trained to present locally relevant information with assistance from locals who know the area. Each session includes lots of group discussions and the sharing of participant knowledge. This is a great way to learn the practical changes you can make in your own homes.
The program is not about people having to make unwanted sacrifices. It’s about patience and the ability to look to the future. We promote a connected approach to living, making lasting changes and finding real solutions for a better quality life now and into the future.
The Energy Partners Program developed the energy module and support materials, which program participants across SA are now using. Local government councils sponsor the Living Smart program, which ran at Holdfast Bay, Onkaparinga and Unley councils in 2016. More sessions will be held in 2017.
Stay in touch with these programs being run in your area through the Affordable SA App/ Events or go to the Living Smart website linked below or your Local Council website.
People who live in a residential park or a caravan park may be eligible to receive a single combined concession to help with their energy, water and sewerage bills.
People who live in a residential park or a caravan park may be eligible to receive the Cost of Living Concession.
The amount of the concession you will receive depends on your living arrangements, the utilities you pay for and your income or card type. For example from 1 July 2016:
- Residents who own their own dwelling and pay for water, sewerage and energy can get a concession of up to $510 per year, paid quarterly ($127.50 per quarter)
- Tenants who pay for water and energy can get a concession of up to $335 per year, paid quarterly ($83.75 per quarter).
No Emergency Services Levy (fixed property) concession is payable, as this levy is not normally charged to residents of residential parks.
EnergySmart is a South Australian Government funded initiative to help us understand how we can save power and reduce our energy bills at home or running a small business. The main premise is the 72 page booklet of ways to save as well as videos and associated facts to help visualise the issues.
The basics of our energy use in South Australia is that we use:
- 40% for heating and cooling our houses
- 23% on heating water
- 14% on washing machines and driers
- 7% on lighting
- Standby power modes in your electrical devices could be costing you as much as $250 a year
You may be able to access EEPS assistance if you are experiencing significant financial difficulties or if you receive an energy bill concession from the Department of Human Services and have had your electricity disconnected (or at the risk of disconnection).
Payments are up to $400 for low-income earners and you can only receive an EEPS payment once every three years.
Emergency Electricity Payment Scheme assistance is only accessible through the assistance of a financial counsellor, who will assess your financial situation before lodging an application. Financial Counselling is free, confidential and independent. The National Debt Helpline is a not-for-profit, community based service that is available to people in Australia experiencing financial difficulty.
If you require assistance from a financial counsellor please contact the National Debt Help Line 1800 007 007 (Mon to Thurs: 9.30am–8pm and Friday: 9.30am-4.30pm) or go to the Affordable SA App or visit the Affordable Living SA website to see more information and services available in South Australia that can be of assistance.
The Scheme has been designed to ensure every household on the grid is eligible to purchase a subsidised home battery system.
However, South Australian Energy Concession Holders will be able to access a higher subsidy, further assisting low-income households to access the Scheme.
To claim the subsidy, an approved battery system needs to be installed by a System Provider who is qualified under the Scheme.
Subsidy applications will only be approved from customers satisfying the following criteria:
- Only one subsidy per property.
- Only residential properties are eligible.
- Energy concession recipients are eligible for a higher subsidy amount per kwh of battery capacity installed.
- Only approved eligible equipment to be installed by a qualified system provider.
- The applicant must be the owner of the property or have consent from the owner to install a battery system.