The South Australian Government will negotiate with energy retails for a better deal for low-income households.
BY CAMERON DRUMMOND
MORE than 180,000 South Australian low-income households could receive a discount to their electricity bills under a new initiative by the South Australian Government.
The State Government said it would invite energy retailers to bid to become preferred suppliers to low-income households that currently receive energy concessions.
In exchange, the retailers would be asked to offer additional benefits for eligible customers including better prices, bill-smoothing and/or flexible payment options.
South Australia Communities and Social Inclusion minister Zoe Bettison said the new initiative would help low-income and vulnerable households to get extra help with their energy costs.
“We know the majority of people receiving the State Government’s energy concessions are on standing contracts and we believe we can negotiate a much better deal for them.”
A retailer, or panel of retailers, would be chosen through an open and competitive process.
Key groups that would likely benefit from the scheme include public and community housing tenants, older South Australians, and people with disability or medical conditions that reduce their ability to earn income.
“The State Government provides $170 million in concessions for a range of expenses and wants to partner with energy retailers to take this further,” Ms Bettison said.
“Energy retailers have the opportunity to give low income customers a better deal and promote their commitment to social responsibility whilst consumers have a chance to save money and/or access better payment options.”