17 January 2024

Tasmanian Government announces expansion of scheme to relieve pressure from power bills

| James Day
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Roger, Nathan and Nick standing around Teslas in front of the Genr8 warehouse.

Ministers Duigan and Jaensch made the announcement with Tasmanian solar company Genr8. Details on applying for the scheme and EV rebate program can be found on the Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania website. Photo: Facebook/Nick Duigan MLC.

With the ambition of killing two birds with one stone, the Tasmanian Government has announced a $50 million expansion of its Energy Saver Loan Scheme.

It’s hoped this will incentivise more households and businesses to use these no-interest loans to purchase energy efficient products, now including EV charging infrastructure.

The government’s desire for the combined $1.2 million e-transport package of this scheme and the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program, is to bring the state in on the wider green transition while cutting power bills.

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Community Engagement is a social research firm that recently commissioned a study of the Pembroke electorate’s struggles with the cost-of-living crisis.

It reported 42.2 per cent of respondents to have had some pressure with their household budget due to the rising cost of electricity and other utilities, while 21.6 per cent experienced significant pressure.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Roger Jaensch said the no-interest loans were open to those requiring assistance with the up-front costs of making the switch.

Anywhere between $500 and 10,000 can be provided for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, and a further $2000 is on offer to individuals purchasing eligible battery electric vehicles under the Electric Vehicle Rebate program.

“These incentives will help us get more cars off the road and reduce the number of trips we make using fossil fuels,” said Mr Jaensch.

According to the Minister for Energy and Renewables Nick Duigan, more than 3000 interest-free loans have been taken out through the scheme so far.

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Opposition Member for Pembroke Luke Edmunds said the incumbent government could be doing more for Tasmanians struggling with the crisis by capping power price increases at 2.5 per cent a year.

“We would legislate to achieve that within 100 days of taking office,” said Mr Edmunds. “If this policy had been in place 18 months ago Tasmanians would have saved in the region of $500 on their power bills.

“The unfortunate reality for Tasmanians is that after 10 years in office, the Liberal government has run out of ideas to help the state get out of the cost-of-living crisis we’ve ended up in.

“Labor has a very simple solution to start making a difference to family budgets and ease some of the pressure being felt.”

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