Vinnies offers no-interest loans in Woy Woy
Woy Woy is one of 10 locations in NSW where the St Vincent de Paul Society provides a No Interest Loan Scheme.
Good Shepherd Microfinance coordinates the scheme for people on low incomes to purchase new energy efficient appliances.
The scheme has no fees, no interest and no charges.
Society CEO Mr Jack de Groot said: "We have been able to significantly reduce the energy consumption of people who come to us for a microfinance loan through.
"This program is offered to people who need to buy a heater or fridge and since we joined the program in August, we have loaned our clients approximately $3.7 million."
He said that offering no-interest loans meant they could buy essential white goods without sinking into debt by borrowing from pay-day lenders.
"At the same time, more efficient items will lower their energy costs.
"It is an easy way to support them to take steps towards mitigating climate change at a household level.
"In a small way we're helping to provide part of the solution."
Good Shepherd Microfinance Manager Ms Joy Webster said: "Research has shown that climate change is having a disproportionate impact on people on low incomes.
"The average electricity debt has risen from $529 in June 2014 to $631 in June 2015, according to the Australian Energy Regulator, and its impact is significantly harder on low-income earners."
The scheme was part of the Home Energy Action Program through which the NSW Government aimed to reduce energy bills for low income households by $2.8 million per year.
"This will avoid approximately 11,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year," she said
The website nils.com.au has information about eligibility for the loans.
SOURCE: Media release, 21 Mar 2017
Phyllis Sakinofsky, Vinnies