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Smart meter eUpdate – Issue 8

May 2014

Grants help Victorians take charge of energy bills

Fifteen not-for-profit organisations will receive grants through the $1 million Energy Information Fund (EIF), Minister for Energy and Resources Russell Northe announced on 22 May 2014.

Mr Northe said the grants will empower the community organisations to deliver information about the electricity market to hard-to-reach Victorians.

"The Victorian Government is committed to giving all Victorians the facts and tools they need to make informed choices about electricity and to keep their bills as low as possible," he said.

"The grants under the EIF will make sure those facts reach all Victorians, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, seniors, rural communities and people with disabilities.

"Victoria has one of the most competitive electricity markets in the world and we want to empower all Victorians to take advantage of this and make informed choices that save them as much money as possible."

The Grants were announced at the offices of Carers Victoria who have received a grant to deliver information about energy to carers across Victoria ­ providing support to carers of family members with dementia, a disability or mental illness.

The following organisation will receive funding through the EIF:

  • Alternative Technology Association
  • Association of Hazaras in Victoria
  • Baw Baw Sustainability Network
  • Bendigo Sustainability Group
  • Carers Victoria Inc
  • Community Information and Support Victoria (CISVic )
  • Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria
  • Geelong Ethnic Communities Council Inc (Diversitat)
  • Goulburn Valley FamilyCare
  • Kensington Neighbourhood House
  • Korean Welfare Association Victoria Inc
  • Northern Region Indian Senior Association Vic
  • Scope (Vic) Ltd
  • Yarra Energy Foundation
  • Yarraville Community Centre

The successful organisations will deliver messages from the Switch On information campaign through projects including:

  • translating energy fact sheets into 13 different languages
  • holding workshops and information sessions for target groups
  • preparing video case studies
  • sharing energy information on radio programs that target specific groups
  • training community members to help share energy information
  • home visits to share energy information.

The Consumer Utilities and Advocacy Centre will support the organisations to deliver these projects and facilitate the sharing of resources through its EnergyInfo Hub website.

Further information on the Energy Information Fund and the projects it is funding is available on the Government’s Switch On Website.

Introducing The Hon Russell Northe MP

Minister NortheMinister Russell Northe was appointed as the Minister for Energy and Resources in March 2014.  Minister Northe is the Member for Morwell, and was elected in 2006.

He has a close affiliation with the energy and resources sector having spent nearly 50 years in the Morwell area where energy and resources is the major industry and the largest employer.

Since being elected into Parliament Minister Northe has been involved in a number of roles:

  • National spokesperson for Sport and Recreation
  • Member of the Rural and Regional Committee
  • Chair of the Friends of Tourism
  • Law Reform Committee
  • Acting Speaker
  • Electoral Matters Committee
  • Chair of multiple backbench committees

Minister Northe has also been assisting the Victorian Government in its procurement reforms, reducing red tape initiatives and expanding the Small Business Victoria message.