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Cairns families get the chance to save energy, dollars

More than 1600 Cairns families have the chance to cut their energy use and their power bills in the Palaszczuk Government’s latest affordable energy initiative.


Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said participating families would have a digital electricity meter installed, switch to monthly rather than quarterly bills, and work with a personal energy use ‘champion’ to cut their bills.


“Under the first round of our Energy Savvy Families initiative, almost 600 local families cut their energy use and power bills up to $200 in 12 months,” Dr Lynham said.


“Now, another 1606 Cairns families are being invited to join in the potential savings.


“This is another chapter in the Palaszczuk Government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan, which is successfully putting downward pressure on electricity prices.”


Member for Cairns Michael Healy said managing power costs was a major focus for local households, and encouraged those invited to take advantage of the program.


“We recognise rising power bills create undue stress, which is why this Labor Government is working hard to deliver cost-savings to the Queenslanders who need it most,” Mr Healy said.


“It’s easy for those families invited to register for the program online, and the digital meter is installed for free. The savings are real, so I urge everyone participating to take the opportunity to keep more money in their back pockets.”


QCOSS CEO Mark Henley said Energy Savvy Families was about helping low-income families in regional communities.


“Energy affordability is a key cost of living issue for many regional families, so providing access to local, on-the-ground support through community centre champions will be a big boost to help Queenslanders better manage their energy bills,” Mr Henley said.

“QCOSS welcomes the Energy Savvy Families program, particularly the focus on improving energy literacy to assist customers who may be at risk of vulnerability.”


Households in Cairns, Mareeba, Townsville, Charters Towers, Mt Isa, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Murgon and Toowoomba participated in the first round of the Energy Savvy Families program late last year.


Under the program, Ergon installs a new digital meter, and, using Ergon’s HomeSmart online system, customers can monitor their energy use, set a budget, and even set alarms for when they are coming close to budget.


Families also have an energy ‘champion’ to help them, who can provide advice about any electricity concessions they may be eligible for.


Additionally, the Reduce Your Juice app uses mobile games and a series of mini quests and questions, with energy efficiency rewards, to encourage the whole family to use energy efficiently.


Of the 5500 who participated in the first round, many cut their power bills by up to $200 per year, and through using their digital meter they can continue to better manage their power use.


Energy Savvy Families is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan, which includes a two-year cap on electricity price rises to average inflation and a $50 annual rebate over the next two years for every household.


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