Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Two innovative community rebate programs funded by the Andrews Labor Government are helping Victorians doing it tough to reduce their water bills.

Since July 2015, Victorian urban water corporations have delivered the government funded Community Rebate Program to assist their vulnerable and customers and those experiencing hardship.

Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing, said 11,000 Victorian customers have taken advantage of the program – saving an estimated 212 million litres of water, which equates to over $700,000 or $65 per customer per year.

This includes 4,399 customers in the Eastern Victoria Region.

Many customers report having water leaks or inefficient appliances but are unable to afford the cost of repair or replacement.

Through the Community Rebate Program the water corporations will send someone out to the customer’s house to replace a showerhead, change to a dual or low flush toilet, install flow control devices or repair or fix inefficient water fittings. All costs are covered up-front by the grants program.

A key element of the Community Rebate Program is educating vulnerable and hardship customers about water efficiency measures so they can control their water usage and costs through behaviour change.

The program will continue until 2020 and is expected to assist an additional 5,000 customers.

The Labor Government is also funding a Community Housing Retrofit Pilot Program, to provide assistance for emergency and community housing that are owned or managed by community welfare organisations.

This pilot has helped over 300 community housing properties save around 32 million litres of water per year, equating to around $75,000 or $250 per property per year.

The Pilot is being tested in Melbourne and the Central Highlands and Lower Murray regions.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water, Lisa Neville:

“With parts of the state currently impacted by dry and drought conditions, it has never been a better time for Victorians think about how to use water wisely.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

 “While changes like altering a showerhead may seem minor, over time these changes can make a huge difference to residential water usage and water bills.”

 “I encourage all residents to think about how they can use water more effectively and contact your local water corporation to find out if you are eligible for the rebate program.”