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South Australians on low incomes who have medical conditions requiring the frequent use of airconditioning can soon apply for a new energy concession.
Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion Ian Hunter said today the Medical Heating and Cooling Concession will come into effect in the New Year.
"People who suffer from an illness affected by temperature changes often have to run coolers or heaters for long periods of time to help manage their condition, and this is especially important as we come into the hot summer months.
"To help offset their power bills the State Government will provide eligible people with a rebate of $158 per year from January 1, to be paid quarterly, and this will rise to $165 per year from July 1.
'This is on top of the existing energy concession of $158 for pensioners and holders of eligible Centrelink cards, so effectively doubles the rebate being paid to them.
"This new concession will mean up to 2,000 vulnerable South Australians will receive this additional financial assistance toward their energy bills.
"This will help them manage their health more affordably and help prevent their medical condition, or that of their child, getting worse."
The energy concession will be available to pensioners and holders of eligible Centrelink cards for a range of temperature-sensitive medical conditions.
These include Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Tetraplegia and Muscular Dystrophy. A qualified medical practitioner may also nominate other conditions that may be eligible.
The rebate will apply for the use of all heating and cooling units used to manage temperature in the home, including fixed and portable devices.
For more information, including eligibility criteria and application forms, visit the concessions website at www.sa.gov.au/concessions or call the hotline - after 1 January 2012 - on 1300 735 350.
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