Rebates and assistance
The NSW and Federal Governments provide certain people and households with rebates on their electricity bills, and other forms of help to meet their electricity costs (for example, the EAPA Scheme).
Low Income Household Rebate
All NSW residents who have a Commonwealth Health Care Card or other eligible concession card (see below) and have an electricity account in their name are eligible to receive the NSW Government's Low Income Household Rebate. The rebate is provided as a credit to your electricity bill.
The Low Income Household Rebate will rise to $235 by 2014.
The Low Income Household Rebate is available to electricity account holders who hold either a:
- Commonwealth Health Care Card issued by Centrelink,
- Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink or the DVA or
- Gold Card issued by the DVA (marked with War Widow or War Widower pension*, Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI)* or Disability pension (EDI)*)
* Note that while a Gold Card must be marked with one of these codes, customers may be receiving or have received payments with different names depending on whether they qualify for this category of Gold Card under either the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA).
If you are eligible and have not registered for the Low Income Household Rebate, contact your electricity retailer.
Eligibility for the rebate is not dependent on which retailer you are supplied by. If you change retailers and you currently receive the Low Income Household Rebate, you will need to apply for the rebate with your new retailer. If you stay with your current retailer you do not need to do anything and will continue to receive the rebate while you continue to hold an eligible concession card and you have an electricity account in your name.
For more information on the Energy Rebate, see http://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/customers/rebates/low-income-household-rebate (opens in a new window)
Family Energy Rebate
The NSW Government’s Family Energy Rebate helps NSW family households to pay their electricity bills. In 2012-2013 the Family Energy Rebate gives eligible households a $75 credit on their electricity bill. If you live in a caravan or mobile home park, the 2012-2013 Family Energy Rebate is $82.50.
To be eligible for the 2012-2013 Family Energy Rebate, you must:
- Be eligible for the Federal Government’s Family Tax Benefit A or B at any time during the 2011-2012 financial year, and have received a relevant payment; and
- Be a NSW resident; and
- Have your name listed on electricity bills from an electricity retailer, solely or jointly or be a resident of a caravan or mobile home park and receive electricity bills from a park operator.
For more information on the Family Energy Rebate, see http://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/customers/rebates/family-energy-rebate (opens in a new window) .
Commonwealth Government's Household Assistance Package
The Commonwealth Government's Household Assistance Package is designed to assist low and middle-income households with increases in the cost of living including energy (electricity and gas) as a result of the carbon price.
The Household Assistance Package (opens in a new window) will increase the disposable income of low- and middle-income households in 2 ways:
- providing government payments to low-income and middle-income households
- providing tax reforms targeted at low- and middle-income households.
The package has been designed so that:
- all low-income households will be eligible for assistance that at least offsets their expected average price impact from the carbon price
- middle-income households will be eligible for assistance that helps them meet their expected average price impact, and
- households with people who have a relevant concession card and face higher essential electricity costs due to medical condition or disability will be eligible for additional assistance.
For more information on the Household Assistance Package, see http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/about-fahcsia/benefits-payments/clean-energy-future-household-assistance-package (opens in a new window)
Life Support Rebate
If you require certain life sustaining medical equipment in your home - such as a kidney dialysis machine or a respirator/ventilator - you may be able to receive a Life Support Rebate on your electricity bills. If you change retailers and you currently receive a life support rebate, you will need to reapply for the rebate with your new retailer.
For more information on this rebate, see http://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/customers/rebates/life-support-rebates (opens in a new window)
Medical Energy Rebate
If you are unable to self-regulate your body temperature when exposed to extreme (hot or cold) temperatures due to a medical condition (such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis), you may be eligible for the NSW Medical Energy Rebate.
To be eligible for this rebate, a doctor who has been treating you for at least 3 months needs to compete a form to verify that you are unable to self-regulate your body temperature, and the electricity account holder in your home must hold either a Pensioner Concession Card, a Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card or a Commonwealth Health Care Card.
If you change retailers and you currently receive a medical energy rebate you will need to reapply for the rebate with your new retailer.
For more information on the Medical Energy Rebate, see http://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/customers/rebates (opens in a new window) .
Home Power Savings Program
Households that are eligible under the NSW Home Power Savings Program can receive a free home energy assessment, a power saving kit, and expert advice on reducing their energy consumption. See http://www.savepower.nsw.gov.au/households/home-power-savings-program/about-the-program.aspx (opens in a new window)
Australian Government Utilities Allowance
If you are under the pension age and receive a partner allowance or widow allowance, or you are under 21 years of age and receive a disability support pension, you may be eligible for a Utilities Allowance. This allowance is designed to help those on low fixed incomes with the costs of regular bills such as gas, electricity and water. For more information, see http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/utilities-allowance (opens in a new window) .