In addition to rebates that are available to all eligible households, there are several Victorian Government rebates available specifically to concession card holders.
Council also offers a limited selection of free products to assist low income earners to become more energy efficient. These are available until supplies are exhausted and include:
Standby power controller (to save on standby power)
Twin timer pack (timer device for appliances)
Electricity monitor (to measure whole house energy use over time)
Power meter (to measure energy use by appliance)
Draftstoppa (for ceiling fans)
Door snakes, weather seals, draught excluders (for draught proofing)
For further details and to request products, contact Council’s Sustainability Officer on 9433 3214 or Ian Culbard .
Another way to become more energy efficient without having to purchase anything is to borrow a Sustainable Home Audit Kit through the Yarra Plenty Regional Library. These kits contain an audit checklist, power meter, water flow cup, thermometer and instructions on how they can be used.
We know that the up-front cost of some items presents a major barrier for many households wanting to improve their energy and water efficiency. To assist households with low income levels here are alternative forms of finance available.
The StepUP Loan Program offers low interest loans of between $800 and $3,000 to eligible families to assist with purchasing a range of personal and household items, including efficient appliances.
There are also organisations that offer alternative repayment methods where there is a monthly fixed transaction fee rather than interest which means that your repayments are the same each month.
If you are considering installing a solar electricity system, there are some suppliers who can offer a finance option that allows you to repay the up-front cost of the system over several years. Repayments are usually structured so that they are less than or the same as the savings on your electricity bills. You can find more information about the costs and benefits of this type of arrangement at Solar Choice.
Council does not endorse any finance providers so it is the responsibility of individuals to determine the suitability of any listed finance product for themselves.
The Non-Mains Energy Concession assists cardholders who rely on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), firewood or heating oil for domestic heating, cooking or hot water, or who access non-mains electricity via an embedded network, or who rely on a generator. Special conditions apply for the firewood concession.
All non-mains energy costs are covered from 1 January to 31 December each year. The amount of the rebate depends on the annual amount of each non-mains energy source purchased.
The closing date for applications for 2015 has been extended and you can now apply for a concession for 2016.
Application forms are available at the Civic Centre, Civic Drive, Greensborough.
See the Department of Health and Human Services' fact sheet(PDF, 35KB) for more information or call their Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521 (toll free) or visit www.dhs.vic.gov.au/concessions