Power-saving help offered

LOW-INCOME households will have more power to slash electricity use.

Bridging the Gap is one of 19 organisations across Australia to run the federal government's Home Energy Saver Scheme (HESS).

The St Marys organisation received $216,747 over two years to conduct home visits to 100,000 households between Blacktown and the Blue Mountains facing financial and energy hardship.

Bridging the Gap community development and HESS worker Maggie Adair will assess household energy usage and suggest how electricity can be slashed to cut costs such as ensuring the fridge is properly sealed and using airconditioning at the right temperature.

"People are amazed when they find out cooking a roast in a slow cooker uses less energy than the oven," Mrs Adair said.

Households will learn how to budget and be referred to programs such as the No Interest Loans Scheme to purchase energy efficient appliances.

Households struggling to pay power bills can contact their provider's hardship program.

Mrs Adair will also visit community groups such as playgroups and senior citizens.

"We're excited have an innovative role in the community by building people to be empowered," Bridging the Gap business manager Carole Tozer said.

The $19 million HESS scheme is part of the federal government's Clean Energy Future Package.

"We are putting a price on carbon but one piece of the puzzle is making sure we provide assistance to families to become more energy efficient," Lindsay MP David Bradbury said.

Call 1800 007 001 for more details on the HESS scheme.

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