Supporting low income South Australian families with utilities costs (SA)
More than 118,000 homeowners will start to receive the State Government’s Cost of Living Concession this week through to the end of August.
The COLC replaces the council rate concession axed by the Commonwealth and has been extended to tenants on low or fixed-incomes.
Homeowner households who previously received the COLC and have provided their banking details to the Government will receive this year’s concession directly into their bank accounts.
More than 23,000 homeowner households who did not provide their banking details will receive their COLC payment by cheque in late September 2016. Eligible tenants will receive their Cost of Living Concession in early 2017.
The concessions provide eligible South Australian households on low or fixed incomes with up to $200 annually to assist with cost of living expenses such as utilities and council rates.
The COLC provides flexibility for recipients to use the payment wherever it is most needed to support themselves and their families. The concession is available to low income homeowner-occupiers, tenant households and self-funded retirees with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
The concession payments come as the State Government completes the installation of 1000 solar hot water systems in Housing SA homes, honouring its 2014 election commitment to reducing energy costs for South Australians on low incomes.
The $5.5 million project prioritised properties with LPG bottled gas water services, followed by electric hot water systems installed before 2010.
The project included properties across the state, including Ceduna, Peterborough, the Riverland and Mount Gambier.
Meanwhile, three South Australian-based companies have won contracts to supply and install up to 400 solar photovoltaic systems on public housing properties, supporting local jobs.
The State Government has awarded a tender to install up to 200 solar PV systems on public housing in the Adelaide City Council area.
A further 200 solar PV systems will be installed on new public housing being built in metropolitan and regional areas. Installation is expected to start in coming weeks.
The Cost of Living Concession is an annual payment introduced by the State Government on 1 July 2015.
Applications must be submitted no later than 31 October 2016 to be considered for the Cost of Living Concession for the 2016-17 financial year.
Application forms are online at www.sa.gov.au/concessions/costofliving. Send completed forms to Cost of Living Concession, Reply Paid 84782, Adelaide, SA, 5001.
For more information, or to request a form to be sent to you, call the Concessions Hotline on 1800 307 758. For information on other State Government concessions visit www.sa.gov.au/concessions
Quotes attributable Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison.
The Cost of Living Concession provides vital assistance to households on low or fixed incomes to cope with the cost of living pressures. Last year, more than 182,800 South Australian households benefitted from the payment.
If you received the Cost of Living Concession payment last year, and none of your circumstances has changed, you will automatically receive a payment again this year.
If you did not receive the concession last year, and you are eligible, you must apply before 31 October 2016.
The installation of solar hot water systems has resulted in lower power bills for tenants, helping with their cost of living. The project also has environmental benefits because the solar systems have much lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The project is having excellent outcomes for both tenants and for the environment.
These solar hot water systems are reducing energy bills for some of the state’s most vulnerable people, helping with their cost of living.
Replacing electric systems with a solar hot water system can reduce total household electricity by about 30 per cent.
The systems also produce far less greenhouse gas emissions than the older systems they have replaced and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.