Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Energy spokesperson
The information provided through the scrutiny of Aurora Energy confirms the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS) is nothing more than a Westpac credit card gimmick, and an opportunity for the Liberals to pretend they’re doing anything at all on energy efficiency.
So far, 1,582 Tasmanian households have over $10.9 million in credit card debt to Westpac. If those Aurora customers don’t repay the debt in the interest-free period, they’ll be slugged with the bank’s variable interest rate, currently 13.9%.
This could cost TEELS' households up to $1 360 a year in interest payments to Westpac when the interest period starts.
The Hodgman Government and Aurora have washed their hands of their duty of care for people in the so-called ‘loan scheme’, and passed them through to Westpac for standard credit card processing.
Aurora Energy confirmed they do not give individualised household assessment or advice to help people decide the best energy efficiency solution for their home. They don’t assist people choose the most cost-effective product, or decide if they can meet credit card repayments.
According to Minister Barnett, neither the Tasmanian Government nor Aurora owe customers an individualised duty of care to ensure a Westpac credit card is the best way to finance their energy efficiency upgrade, or to protect them from the potential for soaring credit card debt.
The Liberals received an $11 000 donation from Westpac in 2015. TEELS is a sham cost of living measure that is designed to put their major donor’s interests before those of Tasmanian households.
TEELS is leaving nearly 1,600 Tasmanian households open to huge credit card debt, and it makes a mockery of Minister Barnett’s claim his Energy legacy will be to put ‘Tasmanians first’.