$250 Power Saving Bonus – Community Outreach Program

Overview

The $250 Power Saving Bonus is a one-off $250 payment to provide direct support to vulnerable Victorian households experiencing energy bill stress due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The $250 Power Saving Bonus will be available to over 900,000 eligible Victorian households with at least one eligible concession cardholder. Eligible households can access the Power Saving Bonus by applying on the Victorian Energy Compare website or applying through a participating community organisation. The $250 Bonus will be available from 1 February 2021 to 31 January 2022 and will be limited to one payment per eligible household.

To support Victorians who are eligible to access the $250 Power Saving Bonus the Victorian Government has partnered with a range of organisations who specialise in providing support to the Victorian community. Running through until 31 January 2022, targeted and tailored support will be available for consumers and delivered by organisations who are providing valuable assistance to Victorians.

Participating community organisations

The community organisations that have partnered with the Victorian Government and are able to assist eligible consumers to apply for the $250 Power Saving Bonus include:

Good Shepherd - Neighbourhood House:

Good Shepherd aspires for all women, girls and families to be safe, strong and connected. Good Shepherd are committed to tackling the issues of our time which adversely affect them. Good Shepherd are Australia’s oldest charity working to support women and girls experiencing abuse and disadvantage. Good Shepherd provides services and support in the areas of family and domestic violence, financial insecurity and youth experiencing disadvantage.

Neighbourhood Houses are local community-based organisations which offer a range of social, educational, recreational and support activities, for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Consumer Action Law Centre

National Debt Helpline – Consumer Action (NDH) is a free telephone financial counselling service delivered to people living in Victoria by Consumer Action Law Centre. NDH financial counsellors are qualified professionals who provide information, advice and referral for advocacy for people with debts who are in financial difficulty.

Ethnic Community Council Victoria

Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV) is the member-based peak body in Victoria for migrant and refugee communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. ECCV works closely with over 220 member organisations run for and by migrant and refugee communities. This includes ethnic associations, multicultural service providers, and eight ethnic communities’ councils across rural and regional Victoria.

Since 1974 ECCV has been advocating for human rights, freedom, respect, equality and dignity for migrant and refugee communities, and for the building of a socially cohesive and inclusive Victorian community. ECCV has a strong history in advocating for the rights of migrant and refugee communities, informing industry practice and influencing Federal, State and Local governments on a range of issues including culturally responsive approaches, anti-racism action, equitable access to services and socially just policy.

Brotherhood of St Laurence:

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) is a social justice organisation working alongside people experiencing disadvantage to address the fundamental causes of poverty in Australia. BSL provide services in areas including disability, aged care, employment, as well as conducting research and advocacy.

Consumer Policy Research Centre:

Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) is a think tank focusing on consumer policy research. CPRC care about ‘policy in action’ – undertaking education and training including outreach programs for all consumers to better navigate and reduce their energy bills.

State Trustees:

State Trustees helps people plan, manage and live on through every stage of life. State Trustees deliver public benefit to Victorians through vital services and expert support that improves our clients’ financial wellbeing and peace of mind.

Available Support

These community organisations, in partnership with the Victorian Government, will support eligible consumers submit applications for the $250 Power Saving Bonus either over-the-phone or in-person. Victorian consumers who need support can contact one of these partner organisations to find out how to access their assistance. Further details on how to access this tailored support are below:

Phone support:

  • Good Shepherd, who can be contacted on 1300 026 500.
  • The National Debt Helpline - Consumer Action Law Centre, who can be contacted on 1800 149 689.
  • The Brotherhood of St. Laurence (and partners Australian Energy Foundation, GV Community Energy and Uniting Vic.Tas), who can be contacted on 1800 830 029.

In-person support:

  • Neighbourhood House – you can drop into a local Neighbourhood House centre for more information or call Good Shepherd on 1300 026 500 to find the closest Neighbourhood House that is currently offering support.
  • Consumer Policy Research Centre and Council of the Ageing – are delivering workshops to support households over 65 years of age. Call COTA on 1300 135 090 to get more details on the locations.
  • The Ethnic Community Council Victoria – in-person events, call 9354 9555 to get more details.

Targeted support:

In addition to this widespread support for eligible consumers, the Victorian Government has also partnered with organisations such as:

  • State Trustees – State Trustees estimates thousands of its current Financial Administration clients may qualify for the Power Saving Bonus. State Trustees supports and advocates on behalf of those Victorians who may not be able to do so themselves.
  • Consumer Policy Research Centre and Scope Australia – CPRC will provide place-based support for public housing residents across Melbourne. Scope will provide place-based support for residents in their supported independent living accommodation in inner Melbourne and regional Victoria.

These organisations will provide tailored support for their current network of clients, which will ensure that these eligible consumers also access the $250 Bonus.