Monday 2 May 2022

This morning Premier Dan Andrews fronted media at Caulfield South Community House to announce a $250 million funding package to help ease cost of living pressures for Victorian households.

An item in tomorrow's State Budget, from 1 July 2022, a new $250 payment will be open to all Victorian households who use the Victorian Energy Compare website to compare their energy deal and seek out a better price.

The Victorian Energy Compare website is the only free and independent online energy price comparison service available to Victorian energy consumers.

Currently, eligibility for the Power Saving Bonus is limited to concession hard holders. This new program will be open to all households, and concession card holders who previously received the bonus will be able to apply for it again.

Around 220 Neighbourhood Houses have participated in the Power Saving Bonus outreach program, facilitated by Neighbourhood Houses Victoria and Good Shepherd in partnership with the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning.

Through this outreach program, over 6,000 concession card holding Victorians have received the $250 payment thanks to the support of a Neighbourhood House.

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria CEO Nicole Battle, pictured above with the Premier and Minister Lily D'Ambrosio at today's press conference, said the Premier's visit was a positive sign.

"This was an excellent opportunity for the Premier to see and hear first-hand about the positive impact Neighbourhood Houses are having for people who are struggling with the cost of living," Nicole said.

"The Power Saving Bonus outreach program has been a significant achievement for our sector over the last year. I am proud that so far $1.5 million in assistance has gone out to those who need it most, thanks to Neighbourhood Houses. These are people who otherwise might not have received it, and now have a little weight lifted off their shoulders.

“I think the program has demonstrated to the State Government just how effective Neighbourhood Houses are in reaching people that are sometimes difficult to reach, mainly due to their lack of access or confidence in technology. I also think it has demonstrated the level of trust communities have in their local Neighbourhood House."

During the press conference, Premier Andrews praised Neighbourhood Houses.

"Neighbourhood Houses are so, so important... Everyday they work very hard to support people to access different grants and support programs, as well as providing training and education, and a place to socialise and connect with the local community," Premier Andrews said.

"Here's an example of where people might not have a computer or might not have the confidence to apply online [for the bonus]. They can come here, they can get the support they need, and be able to access those really important bonuses."

For more information on the new funding announcement, read the Premier's media release.