Discounts are just what doctor ordered

As the weather warms up, some Australians will be dreading their summer power bills more than others because of their reliance on air conditioning to stay healthy, not just cool.

Fortunately, there are electricity discounts offered to those who suffer from illnesses that interfere with the body’s ‘thermostat’.

In Victoria, subsidies of 17.5 per cent are available … and that is on top of the 17.5 per cent discount that holders of Seniors Health Cards receive. A person whose use of air conditioning spikes during hot spells can expect to receive as much as 35 per cent off their electricity bills.

Many diseases can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature, so there are probably thousands of Australians who need to ensure their ambient temperature does not rise above a certain level. Searing hot weather will likely see them being hospitalised as complications set in from their inability to cool down naturally.

Conditions that impair a person’s ability to regulate their own temperature include:

    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Lymphoedema
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Post-polio syndrome/poliomyelitis
    • Motor neurone disease
    • Scleroderma
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus.

To find out if you qualify for this rebate, contact the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521 (toll-free) or phone your power provider for an application form.

A doctor will need to sign your completed forms before you return them to your electricity retailer. Your electricity retailer will check your concession card details with Centrelink and apply the discount to your bill.

Do you have a medical condition that requires you to use equipment at home? Are your utility bills affected by your medical condition?

Related articles:
Seniors card
Pensioner concessions card
Low-Income Health Care Card

Written by Olga Galacho

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Low Income Health Care Card

You may qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card if your income falls below the qualifying limits.



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