More than 180,000 low-income households could save hundreds of dollars on their power bills, if a new energy discount offer being promoted by the South Australian Government goes to plan.
It wants retailers to bid for contracts to supply energy to low-income households that currently receive energy concessions.
The Government said that most low-income customers were on “standing contracts” and that it could get a better deal for them if it negotiated those contracts on the households’ behalf.
It hopes to have a deal in place by October.
“If it does offer those additional benefits of bill-smoothing and flexible payment options, people will take up that consideration,” Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said.
Ms Bettison said that key groups likely to benefit included tenants of public and community housing, older people and those with a disability or medical conditions.
Currently, $170 million of concessions are provided to more than 180,000 households for expenses such as energy, water, sewerage and the state’s emergency services levy.
Meanwhile, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison today belittled South Australia’s plan for one of the world’s biggest batteries, calling it a “Hollywood solution” that would do little to solve the state’s energy problems.
“By all means have the world’s biggest battery, have the world’s biggest banana, have the world’s biggest prawn, like we have on the roadside along highways around the country, but that’s not solving the problem,” he said.
SA Premier Jay Weatherill responded that the Treasurer and the Coalition were blinded by a hatred of renewable energy.
“They are in the thrall of the coal lobby in Canberra. I mean, remember this is the guy who was handing out lumps of coal in Federal Parliament,” he said.