- Program services
- Increased funding
- Partnership approach
- Further Information
- Home Energy Saver Scheme
The Financial Management Program is funded by the Australian Government and provides services that are:
- confidential and
- available to people who are experiencing personal financial difficulties.
- Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Pilot Project
The CDFI pilot project seeks to build the capacity and resilience of disadvantaged and financially excluded individuals by attracting investment and injecting funds into community finance organisations that offer them financial services and products that they would otherwise not be able to access from mainstream sources.
- emergency relief
provides support to address immediate needs in times of crisis, Assistance often includes food and clothing parcels, transport, chemist vouchers, help with accommodation.
- financial counselling
helps people in financial difficulty to address their financial problems and make informed choices. Services include advice and information, advocacy and referral.
- money management information and education
currently operating in remote communities, providing one on one or small group education and information over the phone or face to face. Facilitates access to financial counsellors for help with complex issues.
- information about saving for retirement
through the National Information Centre on Retirement Investments (NICRI) provides the public with free information on planning and saving for retirement.
- research into problem gambling and its impacts
The Commonwealth Government works closely with state and territory governments through the Ministerial Council on Gambling to develop a national approach to tackling problem gambling in Australia, including funding for a national gambling research program.
- Home Energy Saver Scheme
The Scheme aims to assist low-income households improve their energy efficiency and financial sustainability.
The program contributes to improved outcomes for vulnerable people, families and communities by:
- fostering the improved use and management of money
- helping people address immediate needs in times of financial crisis.
In response to the increased need for financial management support services the government increased funding for the Financial Management Program from $50 million at the start of 2008-09 to $105 million in 2009-10. This includes doubling of emergency relief funding, with an extra $80.4 million from 1 March 2009 - 30 June 2011 and providing $50 million over two years from 1 July 2009 for a new innovative projects measure including matched savings and no interest loans
This additional funding combines to form a new approach that will help Australians deal with immediate crisis, as well as provide services to help them build financial capability and resilience.
The Financial Management Program has a strong partnership approach with:
- the community sector to support Australians vulnerable to financial stress and crisis
- other Commonwealth agencies to coordinate support and provide a holistic response, and
- state and territory governments.
The partnership approach will build on and expand the existing relationships between service providers and government so we can reduce red tape, increase service flexibility and better meet the needs of Australians vulnerable to financial stress and crisis.
Information for service providers
The program will continue to fund existing service providers subject to satisfactory performance and ongoing need. The Financial Management Program Guidelines provides more information. Service providers can seek additional information from their State and Territory program managers.
From 2009 -10 most service providers will be offered two year funding agreements for the Financial Management Program services they deliver. If they receive funding for more than one financial management service type, we plan to offer them a single funding agreement. For many organisations this will provide greater certainty of funding and reduce administrative burden. Services may also be extended to additional locations.
On 2 April 2009, The Hon Jenny Macklin MP announced how the Government is building financial inclusion and resilience through its new Financial Management Program in response to the global financial crisis.
The Australian Government understands that people are under increased financial pressure from the global financial crisis in terms of mortgage stress, credit card debt and increased costs of living pressures - often as a result of unemployment, sickness or family breakdown.
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) is responsible for the implementation and ongoing management of the Financial Management Program.
The Department will work in partnership with the community sector over the next two years to implement the additional funding and Program improvements.
- Minister Macklin's ACOSS Conference speech and media release
- Financial Management Program Guidelines
The Home Energy Saver Scheme (the Scheme) is part of the Australian Government’s climate change plan, Securing a Clean Energy Future and was developed in the context of the expansion of the Low Carbon Communities Program.
HESS will be delivered through existing not-for-profit organisations that provide general financial counselling services to individuals and will focus on working with households to improve their financial and energy management practices and engagement with the energy market. In this way, it seeks to build on and complement other financial management and energy initiatives.
Funding for the Scheme is $50.5 million over four years (until 2014-15) to support low-income households across Australia experiencing difficulty meeting and paying for their energy needs. The Scheme will provide access to:
- information about easy and affordable ways to use less energy in the home;
- one-on-one budgeting assistance;
- information on right rebates and assistance;
- assistance understanding energy bills and the energy market;
- advice, advocacy and support;
- links to other services; and
- help to access no or low interest loans to purchase energy efficient appliances.
An important part of the Scheme will be to link eligible participants with the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) where appropriate, to enable them to access capital to make longer term energy efficiency improvements. Under the Scheme, $5 million has been allocated to support the capacity of the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) to provide an additional 10,000 no interest loans, the establishment of a national buying service for NILS clients to assist them with the affordable purchase of household appliances and an additional $20.6 million will be used to provide subsidies to further reduce the cost of these appliances.
NILS subsidies will be available to successful NILS loan applicants for approved energy efficient household goods and appliances including: refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, air-conditioners and heaters, and hot water systems. The NILS subsidies will be rolled out progressively over 2013.
- Minister Collins Media Release on HESS Service Providers
- Minister Collins Media Release on New Home Energy Saver Scheme
Organisations funded to deliver the Scheme are encouraged to ensure they link with, refer to and complement existing energy efficiency and energy hardship schemes and relevant social services and community programs in their jurisdiction.
If you are:
- having trouble managing your energy needs and bills;
- at risk of having your power disconnected; or
- on an energy retailer’s hardship scheme.
There are three easy ways the Home Energy Saver Scheme can help you:
- TIPS - Get energy saving tips and information with a free call to 1800 007 001 or on this website or on this website
- TALK - Attend an energy saving talk in your community by calling 1800 007 001
- TAKE ACTION - Write an energy saving plan or see if you are eligible for a home visit from a HESS Worker who can suggest ways to save energy for your household
Learn more at participating in the Home Energy Saver Scheme or call HESS Helpline on 1800 007 001.
Scheme Activity Guidelines:
- Home Energy Saver Scheme Activity Guidelines Part C - PDF [152kB]
- Home Energy Saver Scheme Activity Guidelines Part C - WORD [203kB]
These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Financial Management Program Guidelines.