Recently re-elected premier of Tasmania Jeremy Rockliff has announced the state government is starting work on providing every household on the Apple Isle with $250 of energy bill relief.

The “supercharged” Renewable Energy Dividend was promised by the Tasmanian Liberals ahead of last month’s election. 

The premier has now revealed every household will indeed receive the payment before the end of this financial year.

The $250 payment will be credited to the electricity accounts of 254,000 Tasmanian households.

Meanwhile, 35,000 Tasmanian small businesses will receive a $300 credit on their electricity accounts. 

The payments are expected to cost the Tasmanian Government $74 million in total.

Premier Rockliff said the rebate will provide immediate relief for households ahead of the arrival of winter energy bills.

“Tasmanians currently have the lowest regulated electricity prices in the nation, supported by our concessions, but we know Tasmanians are feeling the pinch,” he said. 

The payment is offered as part of the state’s Renewable Energy Dividend, which returns dividends over $90 million provided by government-owned clean energy business Hydro to households.

Dividends under $90 million are used to invest in essential services such as healthcare and education.

Tasmania also offers a few noteworthy energy concessions to eligible residents.

For instance, those who hold certain concession cards may be able to receive an annual electricity concession, currently worth 172.434 cents per day. 

The state also offers a Heating Allowance payment worth $56 a year to eligible, means tested concession card holders. 

“Currently, Hydro’s dividend of $105 million to be paid this year means that Tasmanians will share in $7.5 million, with a $30 credit on their power bills,” Tasmanian energy minister Nick Duigan said ahead of the state’s election.

“We’ve taken the decision to make a one-off dividend payment with the supercharged dividend, to deliver action right now on the cost-of-living pressures affecting Tasmanians.”

The cost of electricity in Hobart rose 7.3% over the three months to December, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data. 

Though, that was largely due to the unwinding of the federal government’s Energy Bill Relief Fund rebate, which provided subsidies to Tasmanian concession card holders and those on eligible government payments in the previous quarter.

Excluding the impact of the rebate, energy prices in the Tasmanian capital were flat quarter-on-quarter.

More broadly, the city experienced a 0.7% rise in inflation over the December quarter.

Tasmania is the latest state to offer an energy rebate, with NSW promising eligible residents as much as $350 from the middle of this year and Queensland offering every household $550 this financial year.

Image by Nico Smit on Unsplash