The Jan Pentland Foundation provides scholarships to people who will make a great contribution to the financial counselling sector but require financial assistance to complete the Diploma of Financial Counselling.
The scholarships cover costs associated with the diploma up to $5,000.
This year, the Foundation is encouraging applicants who live in rural or remote areas (or who would be willing to move to a rural or remote area). This is because there are still shortages of financial counsellors in rural and remote areas.
If you know someone who you think would make a great financial counsellor, please invite them to apply.
The BULB aims to inform and inspire - a platform for ongoing education and support to community services workers, volunteers and the wider community. This publication is from ConnectEd - Keeping people connected to energy, water and communications.
A quick ConnectEd update
ConnectEd provides support face-to-face, online and on the phone. COVID-safe procedures allow us to once again visit you at home and work, and to invite folks in to meet with us, or you can join us online for a workshop, or on the phone for financial counselling and home energy assistance.
This update lists our 2021 Term 1 services - please do forward this email to anyone you know who might like to refer their clients or join us for some training. You can see past issues of The BULB, or subscribe, here.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Utilities Literacy Training for Community Workers
New workshop: Time of Use Tariffs Explained
Financial Counsellors help with debts
ConnectEd Info Sessions
Home Energy Assessments
Summer Cooling Tips
Question from the Field: Seniors Card
Next Workshop starts Tuesday 16 Feb!
Choose from two delivery options: face-to-face training at Bowden over two days in February, or online training via Zoom over five weekly sessions through March.
ConnectEd's Utilities Literacy Training for Community Workers will teach you about:
Electricity, Gas and Water in South Australia
Reading and understanding meters and bills
Using energy and water efficiently at home
How to choose an energy retailer and get a good deal
Concessions, complaints, disputes and hardship
New technologies and tariff reform.
Day 1: Tuesday 16 February 9:30 - 4:30
Day 2: Tuesday 23 February 9:30 - 4:30
at UCWB, 77 Gibson Street, Bowden. Register here
Wednesdays from 3 March 9:30 - 12:00
5 weeks: 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 March Register here
New workshop: Time of Use Tariffs
Increasingly, electricity bills will feature prices that vary according to the time of day that appliances are used.
Time of Use Tariffs may already be applied to electric storage hot water systems, and search results on EnergyMadeEasy.gov.au feature lots of ToU offers. From 1 July 2021, retailers will pay the distributor a Time of Use tariff for all of their Smart Meter customers. Many retailers will pass that on to their customers.
So what do electricity consumers need to know about Time of Use Tariffs to get the best results? Do you know how to talk with your clients about ToU?
Join ConnectEd for a discussion about how this works, who it affects, and what it means.
ConnectEd's Financial Counsellors are expert at getting the best outcomes from energy, water and telecommunications providers on behalf of customers with financial difficulties.
With the huge disruptions caused by COVID-19, financial counsellors have met a new cohort of clients who found themselves in need of support for the first time. As COVID-19 income supports reduce, and debt and eviction pauses wind up, financial counsellors remain poised to support both new and old clients through challenging times.
To arrange to speak to a Financial Counsellor, please contact the National Debt Helpline: 1800 007 007.
ConnectEd Information sessions
ConnectEd provides information sessions about energy, water and telecommunications, either open to the public, or exclusively to particular groups.
If you know a group that would like to learn about utilities, do get in contact with us - we can provide appropriate education sessions, either face-to-face or online.
To attend a public session, check the Community Education page on the ConnectEd website to find out what's on near you.
Public sessions are coming up on 12 March at Playford Library, Elizabeth, and 16 February at The Arthouse, Rostrevor.
Summer Cooling Tips
ConnectEd has developed a new handout about keeping cool in summer, without blowing the electricity budget.
As the weather heats up again this week, the information sheet suggests 4 things to consider.
The handout can be downloaded from the ConnectEd website
Question from the field
At a recent community event, someone asked: does the holder of a Seniors Card qualify for an Energy Concession?
A bit of investigation confirmed that there are TWO similar-sounding cards: the SA Government's Seniors Card and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Eligibility criteria differ for each card, but it is only the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card that gives its holder access to the SA Energy Concession.
You may also qualify for the Energy Concession if you hold a Pensioner Concession Card, a DVA Gold Card, or a Low Income Health Care Card.
Parents who receive Family Tax Benefit and have a Health Care Card from Centrelink need to apply separately for the Low Income Health Care Card in order to qualify for the Energy Concession - your Health Care Card needs the letters "LI", not "FA".
News from SACOSS
Raise the Rate - SA Treasurer pitches in
Our national campaign with ACOSS and other state councils of social service to raise the rate of JobSeeker and other income support payments permanently to an adequate level continues, with some welcome remarks recently reported in Indaily from SA Treasurer Rob Lucas, who has echoed comments by Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe last week that welfare payments should be increased. The Treasurer stated that "In terms of economic stimulus, increases in expenditure or income for those who receive the supplement, a good deal of that ends up flowing through the economy because it helps to pay for necessary goods and services that those households have been spending their money on ... From that view point it's A, good for individual households but also B, as the Reserve Governor has indicated a benefit for the national economy and also for the state's economy as well." Indaily also reports that about $35 million a month will be stripped from the SA economy if the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement is axed in March.