Electricity rebates to relieve SA’s power cost shock

Electricity rebates to relieve SA’s power cost shock

Posted on: 21 April 2023

After shocking revelations the average South Australian family is almost $17,000 worse off under Labor – the Liberal Opposition is calling on Peter Malinauskas to follow other states and provide energy rebates to help ease skyrocketing cost of living.

South Australians are hardest hit when it comes to the price of power, with SA’s average electricity the bill the highest of all the mainland states at $354 a quarter – $57 more than Victoria and $106 higher than what Western Australians pay for their bills.*

By using the recently revealed $198 million GST windfall, the Malinauskas Labor Government could unlock electricity bill rebates worth $250 for the average household, $500 for concession holders and $630 for eligible small businesses.

The Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to immediately sign up to the Commonwealth’s Energy Bill Relief Fund to provide extra support for South Australia’s most vulnerable.

Matched dollar-for-dollar by the state, the fund could provide eligible households receiving Commonwealth income support with a $500 saving on their electricity bills, with a $630 saving for eligible small businesses.

Funded by the State Government, the once-off $250 household rebate would then be available to those not eligible under the Energy Bill Relief Fund and would be similar to programs already rolled out in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Leader of the Opposition David Speirs said the measures would provide much welcomed relief for South Australian households ahead of winter.

“Many South Australian families and businesses are doing it tough right now with the soaring cost of housing, food and utilities,” Mr Speirs said.

“We believe this kind of targeted, temporary support when it comes to electricity will make a difference and help South Australians navigate through this cost of living crisis.

“While these measures will only relieve part of the $17,000 cost increase the average South Australian household is facing under Labor – every little bit counts at the moment and it could mean the difference between putting the heater on this winter or not.”

Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said it’s time for Peter Malinauskas to take real action to address increasing cost of living pressures.

“Returning the state’s GST windfall to South Australian families and businesses through a once-off electricity rebate is one way to provide real support for those struggling with the rising cost of living,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“South Australians are paying the highest electricity bills in the country, and with the costs of other everyday essentials going through the roof, many now perceive putting the heater on this winter as a luxury.

“The Opposition’s long called for broad cost of living relief for South Australians, and we believe these measures are a step in the right direction to help to alleviate the financial burden on households and small businesses.”

Those eligible for Energy Bill Relief Fund support include:

  • People on Commonwealth Income Support, including:
    • Pensioner Concession Card
    • Health Care Card
    • DVA Gold Card
    • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
    • Family Tax Benefit A and B
    • Carers Allowance
  • Small Businesses
    • Employing under 20 FTE

*Source: Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker, April 2023.