Guy Barnett, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction,
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is delivering lower electricity prices and better access to energy efficient appliances to improve the lives of thousands of Tasmanians.
In June 2021, the independent Tasmanian Economic Regulator approved a 7.11 per cent decrease in the regulated residential electricity price and an 11 per cent decrease on the regulated electricity price for small business. This represents savings of around $30 million for 243,000 households and $5.3 million for 29,000 small businesses.
This also meant that, compared to other Australian states, Tasmania now has the lowest, or among the lowest, regulated electricity prices in Australia which the Government has delivered a year ahead of schedule.
The Government also knows that cost of living pressures impact many Tasmanians which is why we are putting downward pressure on electricity prices and providing relief to those who are more vulnerable.
We are doing this through the Government’s $43 million concessions scheme, Aurora’s $5 million COVID fund, and the $11.37 million Winter Supplement supporting over 90,000 Tasmanians.
And we recognise that Aurora has also recently announced $500 in bill credits for business customers impacted by Covid in the tourism, hospitality, arts, events, transport and seafood industries.
Additionally, the Government is also working hard to keep bills down though improved energy efficiency. At the recent election we committed $30 million for the relaunching of the Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme.
And in 2019-20, the Government committed $1 million to the No Energy Loan Scheme (NILS) over four years – we later doubled the funding to $2 million in the 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget.
The NILS program, with financial support from Aurora Energy, has provided over $2.4 million since 2015 with subsidises up to 50 per cent toward the cost for energy efficient appliances, where the appliance costs up to $3,000. The program then provides a no interest loan for the remainder of the product cost.
Ably led by NILS chief executive John Hooper, this has been a major success story with 1,047 energy efficient appliances provided in 2020-21 including 261 heat pumps, 380 fridges, 318 washing machines and 48 freezers.
This subsidy funding, when compared to NILS clients turning to rent-to-buy schemes, has saved over $3.5 million for Tasmanians – a return of $4.80 for every $1 of subsidy.
The demographics of the Tasmanians helped by this subsidy included 40.5 percent over 65 years old, 29.2 per cent on a Disability Support Pension and 19 per cent on the Age Pension.
The Tasmanian Government will continue to deliver a plan for lower electricity prices and to help Tasmanians buy energy efficient appliances to improve their quality of life.