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KEEP COOL AND BEAT THE COST

Friday, January 11, 2013
The Member for Dubbo Troy Grant is pointing the community towards Government assistance that is available to low income households to help them beat the heat without running up unaffordable energy bills.

Mr Grant has encouraged those eligible to keep cool and beat the costs utilising the Home Power Savings Program (HPSP) that is open to NSW pensioners, low income health card and veterans affairs health card holders and those on a hardship assistance plan with an energy retailer or who rent government or community housing.

Mr Grant said, ' To be eligible they must also contribute to the property's electricity bills'.

'It is those on low incomes that are most vulnerable when it comes to the high energy costs we are experiencing at present,' Mr Grant said.

'I hear stories of people sacrificing their comfort and even risking their health both in summer and winter to avoid the high electricity costs and this scenario is troublesome. There is a real risk to quality of life or worse and while this program isn't a complete cure to the challenge of addressing the costs of electricity, it is a step towards helping those most at risk to avoid the negative consequences on their health'

The HPSP offers free in-home power assessment by an energy expert to identify cost savings on electricity usage. The assessment is followed by the installation of a free power savings kit, including a stand-by saver power board, energy efficient light globes, a water efficient shower head, a shower timer and draught proofing strips. Eligible households also receive a free personal power savings action plan which lists low cost ways to save power and money.

Since the program began 145,000 households have benefitted. A further 75,000 lower income households in NSW has been identified as eligible for the scheme.

'I strongly urge people who meet the criteria to take advantage of the program' Mr Grant said.

'It does make a difference and there is plenty for us all to learn from this program.'

Those eligible for HPSP should call 1300 662 416 to book a free in home assessment. All householders can find tips to cut their power bills on www.savepower.nsw.gov.au.

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