Electricity and gas costs form a large part of household bills. You may feel you don’t have much control over these costs, but a plan to save energy around your home and manage your money, no matter how little or how much you have, will help you feel more secure.
- Having trouble managing your energy needs and bills?
- At risk of having your power disconnected?
- On an energy retailer’s hardship scheme?
Call the national Home Energy Saver Scheme (HESS) Freecall Helpline on 1800 007 001 to find out how HESS can assist.
HESS is delivered through existing not-for-profit organisations that provide general financial counselling services to individuals and focuses on working with households to improve their financial and energy management practices and engagement with the energy market.
The Australian Government funded HESS program will cease on 30 June 2014. Until then, you are still able to access these HESS services across Australia.
HESS Workers can assist by offering:
- information about easy and affordable ways to use less energy in the home
- one-on-one budgeting assistance
- information on whether you are getting the right rebates and assistance
- help to understand your energy bills and the energy market
- advice, advocacy and support
- links to other services that may be able to assist you, and
- help to access no or low interest loans and the Subsidy Scheme to purchase energy efficient appliances.
Three easy ways to get help
The Home Energy Saver Scheme helps you develop your plan in three easy ways:
TIPS – Get energy saving tips and information with a free call to 1800 007 001 or on this website
TALK – Attend an energy saving talk in your community by calling 1800 007 001
TAKE ACTION – write an energy saving plan or see if you are eligible for a home visit from a HESS Worker who can suggest ways to save energy for your household
There are a range of tips, resources and programs available to help households manage their energy use and identify possible options for saving money.
Managing Your Energy
There are easy and affordable ways to save energy.
Simple choices around the home can have a bigger impact on our energy bills than most of us think, like washing clothes in cold water, understanding cheaper times of the day to use energy and shopping around for your energy needs.
Your energy provider may offer special discounts depending on your situation, or provide free energy saving kits. Also many states and territories offer rebates and programs to help improve the energy efficiency of your home – whether you rent or own it.
More energy saving tips as well as information on rebates and programs in your state or territory are available at www.livinggreener.gov.au or download the Handy Hints booklet and the ‘My Action Plan’.
Managing Your Money
Setting a budget, changing a habit or bill smoothing where you pay your bills before they arrive can help you feel in control of your money no matter how little or how much you have. More advice and online tools are available at www.moneysmart.gov.au.
For independent advice on all energy issues: billing, appliances, concessions and rebates, difficulty paying bills and referrals to support services. Call the free HESS Helpline on 1800 007 001
Attend a Talk
Throughout Australia, HESS Workers are holding community workshops or talks on energy saving around the home which can help you develop your energy saving plan.
By attending a workshop or talk, you will receive information and share information about:
- the easy and affordable ways to save energy throughout your home
- how to understand your energy bills and the energy market
- information on bills, appliances, rebates and assistance
- how to access no or low interest loans and the Subsidy Scheme to purchase energy efficiency appliances
The seminars or talks are a great way to develop ‘My Action Plan’ and start saving energy and money.
To find a workshop or talk near you contact a local service provider or call the free HESS Helpline on 1800 007 001.
Free Home Visit
HESS offers free home visits to eligible households nationally to provide tailored energy and financial management information.
HESS Workers can visit you at home to:
- help you better understand your bills,
- identify the main energy consuming appliances,
- provide advice about the cost of running household appliances,
- help you work out affordable payment plans to meet your energy needs,
- offer suggestions about ways to reduce energy use, and
- provide advice about accessing a no or low interest loan and the Subsidy Scheme to purchase energy efficiency appliances.
The energy visit takes about 1 1/2 hours, it’s free and all HESS Workers are clearly identified as part of the Australian Government's Home Energy Saver Scheme.
My Action Plan
You may wish to develop an Energy Savings Plan and/or budget based on information you gather about ways to save energy and money.
Buying Energy Efficient Appliances
You may identify that some of the appliances in your home are not very energy efficient and therefore are contributing to your energy bills.
These include fridges, washing machines, air conditioners, heaters or hot water systems.
As part of HESS the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) and the NILS Subsidy Scheme are available to help low income households purchase approved energy efficient household goods and appliances.
NILS subsidies are available to successful NILS loan applicants for approved energy efficient household goods and appliances including: refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, air-conditioners and heaters, and hot water systems.
Some appliances are available for purchase under a national buying scheme to further reduce the costs of these major household items and lower the cost of the loan.
To find out if you may be eligible for a No Interest Loan and subsidy call the free HESS Helpline on 1800 007 001.