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Salvos help to pull the plug on excessive power bills

THE Salvation Army is helping financially at risk in the Illawarra improve their energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs.

The Illawarra received funding of more than $350,000 and is one of 50 regions across to country to benefit from the $29.9 million Home Energy Saver Scheme (HESS) – part of the Australian Government’s plan for a Clean Energy Future.

The funding will provide for two new HESS workers in the region and deliver emergency relief via food parcels and assistance with energy, utility and phone bills.

Federal Labor MP for Cunningham Sharon Bird said the targeted assistance will provide additional help for families, parents, seniors and other members of the local community.

The HESS hotline is up and running for low-income households the region experiencing stress in paying their energy bills and they should call 1800 007 001.

Across the country, not-for-profit organisations are delivering the energy efficiency services to around 100,000 low-income households. This includes tailored assistance through home visits by specially-trained HESS workers to around 50,000 households facing financial and energy hardship.

The new in-home advisers from The Salvation Army will work one-on-one with local residents to advise on the best ways to reduce their utilities bills by improving the energy efficiency of their home.

Ms Bird said by making small changes around the house, like getting the most energy efficient washing machine or fridge you can afford, people can save some money on their energy bills.

Eligible households also have access to financial counselling advice and to services such as the No Interest Loans Scheme to enable them to buy more energy efficiency appliances.

The Home Energy Saver Scheme adds to the Federal Government’s range of support measures and payments to help families with their utilities bills with the introduction of carbon pricing.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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