Queenslanders have been promised savings of at least $200 off utility bills as part of a state government package of support during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Palaszczuk government has revealed a $300 million household relief package that will go towards electricity and water costs at a time when many in the Sunshine State are facing up to darker times.
It’s part of a wider investment of $4 billion to help support the health system, jobs and businesses in Queensland during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the measures are an unprecedented response to an unprecedented crisis.
“To date, this is the biggest single relief package assembled by any state or territory,” she said.
“Our society will go through the most difficult period most of us have ever experienced, but I am determined my government will support Queenslanders through it.”
The $200 contribution towards household bills is in addition to the $50 asset dividend the government already contributes to energy costs, made possible because of Queensland’s public ownership of power stations.
Ms Palaszczuk said the cost-of-living relief comes at a time when many families are “doing it tough”.
“It’s really important that they get some extra support during this time. We will be providing up to $200 credit for all 2.1 million Queensland householders to offset the cost of water and electricity,” she said.
Like the $50 asset dividend, it’s thought the government’s $200 utility bill contribution will be directly added to electricity and water bills, without customers needing to apply.
BREAKING: We’re unveiling a $4 billion relief package for Queenslanders in response to coronavirus.
➡️ $2.5B to support our workers and businesses
➡️ $300M for Queensland households, including $200 off utility bills
➡️ $1.2B to strengthen our health system#qldjobs #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/0AtlV0uwFC
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) March 24, 2020
Greater energy savings possible
Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief, Simon Downes, said the additional support will be welcomed by households, but further energy savings are possible if customers in south east Queensland shop around for the cheapest deals.
“It’s a timely bonus for Queensland households doing it tough right now, but greater savings of nearly $300 a year are possible when you compare the cheapest electricity deals to the default tariff,” said Mr Downes.
“The fact is that many families are paying more than they need to, so in addition to the $200 savings from the government, do yourself a favour and find a better energy deal that could save you further when it’s needed most in the coming months.
“If you’re spending more time at home because of the outbreak, take the opportunity to compare and save yourself some much needed cash. It’s better in your pocket than in your energy company’s.”