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Many Australians are eligible for energy rebates and concessions. So, if you need electricity or gas in an emergency or a discount to help you get by, these deductions can help.

These retail and government rebates and initiatives provide financial support to in-need and low-income households who might otherwise struggle to afford their utility bills.

However, the type of government electricity or gas concession you’re eligible for depends on the state you reside, your personal circumstances and the type of concession card you hold. This guide lists the various energy rebates and concessions by state.

As rebate amounts and eligibility criteria are subject to change, contact your energy retailer or relevant government body directly for up-to-date information on how to apply. Government bodies around Australia include:

Concessions cards that are typically accepted by providers

While criteria can vary between states and the concession or rebate you’re applying for, some of the most common concession cards accepted by providers include:

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card (usually marked war widower pension, war widow, disability pension or totally and permanently incapacitated).
  • State-issued or Commonwealth Senior Card.

In some cases, eligible Centrelink payments may also entitle you to a concession or rebate. Depending on what you’re applying for, these can include:

  • Special Benefit Community Development Project (CDP)
  • Widow Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Partner Allowance
  • Austudy
  • New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)
  • ABSTUDY
  • Farm Household Allowance (FHA)
  • War widow pension under legislation of the United Kingdom or New Zealand.

Check with your provider directly to see if you can apply, as eligibility can vary.

Victoria

Melbourne CBD

Annual electricity concession: Valid concession card holders in Victoria can receive help paying for their electricity bills. Eligible recipients are entitled to a concession amount specified by the state government on domestic mains electricity usage and service costs. The concession is available all year round and is applied as a percentage discount on each bill.1

Controlled load electricity concession: Controlled loads are dedicated circuits for particular appliances, such as an electric hot water system. To save on costs, these devices generally operate at off-peak times and incur lower tariff rates. Eligible recipients can receive a concession amount specified by the state government on controlled load electricity costs.2

Service to property charge concession: If the bill you’re issued for electricity has the usage component costing less than the service charge, the service charge will be reduced so that you pay the same amount as your usage cost.9

Excess electricity concession: This concession is designed to help people who receive electricity bills that’s higher than they expected. If you spend over the annual threshold amount on electricity, as specified by the state government, you can receive an additional concession above the annual electricity concession.4 This concession requires you to complete an application form and can only be granted if you exceed the threshold for the year and the electricity isn’t used for commercial or illegal purposes.

Winter gas concession: Eligible concession card holders can receive discounts on domestic mains gas usage and service costs in the winter months between May and October each year.10

Excess gas concession: Similar to the Excess electricity concession, if your household’s winter gas costs were more than the annual gas threshold specified by the state government, you might be entitled to a concession on your usage and service fees.5  Remember, your gas usage must not be for commercial or illegal purposes.

Life support concession: If you require a life support machine at home or live with someone who does, you could be eligible for a rebate.  This life support concession rebate is calculated based on the current price you pay in c/kWh multiplied by a set kWh value as defined by the Government.6 The exact amount you receive depends on your retailer. Eligible life support machines include oxygen concentrators and intermittent peritoneal dialysis machines.

Medical cooling concession: If you or someone you live with has a medical condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate heat, you could be eligible for a concession on bills charged between the start of November and the end of April.7 Eligibility must be pre-approved by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services and can include Parkinson’s disease, Lymphoedema or Multiple Sclerosis. Note this concession is applied in addition to the Annual electricity concession, if you are eligible for both.

Non-mains energy concession: If you use non-mains energy, such as LPG, heating oil or firewood, you can apply for a concession based on how much you pay for energy each year. The concession you receive is on an inclining scale so the more you spend on this type of energy, the higher your concession will usually be.

Utility relief grant scheme:  If you’re an eligible low-income Victorian and you’re unable to pay overdue energy (and water) bills due to temporary hardship, this scheme offers relief grants to help cover bills.11 The state government sets maximum amounts per utility type, so keep this in mind when filling out your utility relief grant application form.

Electricity transfer fee waiver concession: If you move to a new house and your electricity retailer charges a transfer fee to move your electricity account across to your new address, this concession waives the transfer cost in full.3

New South Wales

sydney harbour

Family energy rebate: If you live in a household with dependent children, received the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) for the previous financial year and Centrelink has finalised your entitlement, you could receive credit on an energy bill.13

To be eligible, you need to be a New South Wales resident who lodged a tax return for the previous financial year and have a letter confirming that your FTB also was finalised for the same period.

Gas rebate: The purpose of this rebate is to help you cover the cost of natural gas you use. Eligible people in New South Wales can receive a rebate on every quarterly natural gas bill, up to a maximum annual amount set by the NSW Government.12

Bottled gas concession rebate: if you use LPG for your cooking and/or heating, you could be entitled to a concession. You must use gas for basic household purposes to receive this concession.

Life support rebate: If you or someone in your household requires the use of medical equipment with high energy consumption for life support at home, you may be eligible for this rebate. The rebate is based on a daily rate and is calculated based on the type of equipment you use and how often you use it.14 Equipment can include ventilators and dialysis machines.

Low-income household rebate: This is an electricity rebate scheme for low-income earners in New South Wales to help cover energy bills costs. It’s paid as a credit on your quarterly energy bills, calculated as a daily charge up to a maximum annual limit that the NSW Government determines.15

Medical energy rebate: If you or someone you live with has a medical condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate heat, you could be eligible for a concession.  This concession is an annual credit amount as set by the NSW Government and paid as a fixed amount on your quarterly energy bills. 16 A health professional usually needs to diagnose this condition, be treating the household member for at least three months and verify your need for cooling or heating to control symptoms.

Seniors energy rebate: This rebate can help eligible self-funded, independent retirees in New South Wales pay for their electricity.17 The exact amount is determined by the NSW Government and is paid per financial year. If you’re a senior but not a self-funded and independent retiree, you may be eligible for the low-income household rebate.

On supply: If you pay for electricity or gas through an owners’ corporation or strata, you could be entitled to a number of the above mentioned concessions or rebates.  Check out Service NSW to see if you are eligible.*

EAPA vouchers: If you’re in financial hardship and can’t pay your electricity or natural gas bill, you may be eligible for digital payment vouchers through the EAPA Scheme. This scheme is for a short-term financial crisis, having first referred to your current energy provider to set up or extended a hardship/payment plan. One or more voucher payments will be sent to your retailer and credited to your energy account.

*Service NSW – information about on supply and other concessions in New South Wales

Queensland

brisbane story bridge at night

Electricity asset ownership dividend: Queenslanders can share in power asset dividends as they are publicly owned. These payments are applied as rebates to your electricity bill if you are a residential customer who receives a separately charged electricity bill.

On supply customers eligible for the rebate are credited directly through the on-supplier or utility billing company and card-operated meter customers receive their rebate transferred to their linked card.

The electricity rebate: Pensioners and seniors concession cardholders, as well as Commonwealth Health Care Card holders, Veterans’ Affair Gold Card holders and those with asylum seeker status, may be entitled to an annual rebate to help cover electricity bills.18

Home energy emergency assistance scheme: If you’re having difficulty paying your electricity or reticulated gas bills due to emergencies or short-term financial issues, you may be entitled to a one-off emergency payment.19 You can only receive the payment once every two years and must meet the eligibility criteria.

The reticulated natural gas rebate: Pensioners, seniors concession cardholders and Veterans’ Affair Gold Card holders may be entitled to a rebate on reticulated natural gas bills.18 The amount is set by the Queensland Government.

Life support concession: If you are a concession cardholder and use a kidney dialysis machine or oxygen concentrator at home, this concession can help cover the costs of using these devices. The amount you receive varies based on the type of machine you use and is paid quarterly to eligible customers.20

Medical cooling and heating concession: If you have a health condition that’s exasperated by temperature changes, you could be eligible for an annual concession to help with electricity bills.21 These conditions include autonomic system dysfunction, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory skin conditions. This concession is an annual credit amount as set by the QLD Government.

South Australia

Adelaide by night

Cost of living concession: If you’re on a low income, you may be eligible for the cost of living concession to help you pay for energy bills, council rates and medical bills.22  The amount you receive each year varies between concession cards, the type of Centrelink payments you receive and your annual income.

Energy bill concession: This concession entitles eligible South Australians on low incomes to receive a set amount each year to help pay energy bills, including LPG bottled gas.

Home dialysis electricity concession:  If you use a dialysis machine at home, you could be eligible for an annual concession to help pay for the running costs – provided a South Australian health practitioner approves your eligibility for the concession.23

Medical heating and cooling concession: South Australians who have verified medical conditions that require regular heating or cooling to prevent their symptoms from worsening may be eligible for an indexed amount each year to help cover the cost of bills.24 You also have to be on low or fixed-income to be eligible.

Residential park resident concession: Eligible South Australians who live in a caravan park or residential park may receive an indexed concession each year to help pay for energy, sewage and water bills.25

Tasmania

Hobart Docks

Annual electricity concession: If you’re an eligible resident in Tasmania, you could receive a daily discount on your electricity usage. The Tasmanian Government determines the rate.26

Heating allowance: Some pensioners may receive a set amount each year to assist with the cost of heating.26 You’ll usually receive two payments a year – one in May and another in September.

Life support concession: If you need to use a life support system at home, you may be able to receive daily discounts to help cover the cost of electricity bills.26 The amount you receive varies between the types of machines you or members of your household use. Machines can include chronic positive pressure and airways regulators, phototherapy machines and oxygen concentrators.

Medical cooling or heating concession: If you or someone you reside with has a health condition that requires them to use extra heating or cooling, you may be eligible for a daily concession to cover electricity costs.26 Core medical conditions include Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Lymphoedema.

Western Australia

Perth CBD

Account establishment fee rebate: If you’re an eligible customer and need to establish a new electricity account, you can receive a one-off rebate to offset this cost.27

Air conditioning rebate: If you live in a part of Western Australia that experiences prolonged severe heat or live permanently in a caravan park, some of the costs for running your air conditioner can be subsidised with this rebate.30

Hardship utility grant scheme (HUGS): If you’re facing hardship and you’re unable to pay your utility bills, the HUGS grant may help you stay connected to your essential energy services.28 It’s a scheme to apply for when all other hardship options have been explored, but it doesn’t pay 100% of what you owe on your bill.

When you’re experiencing trouble paying your bills, your first point of contact should be your utility provider, who will conduct an initial assessment and give you instructions on your next steps. They will deem whether you should be referred to the HUGS service centre.

Energy assistance payment (EAP): This annual payment is designed to help eligible Western Australian residents pay their electricity bills. The payment is split into daily amounts and appears as credit on your electricity bill.29

Dependent child rebate: This rebate helps you pay for electricity bills if you have dependent children and hold a valid concession card.31 The rebate is calculated every day, but varies based on how many children are listed on your concession card.

Energy concession extension scheme: If you live in an apartment building, retirement village or caravan park, and need assistance with energy costs, this scheme can help. It’s designed for people whose electricity costs are recouped by a strata entity and relates to the air conditioning rebate (ACR), energy assistance payment (EAP) and the dependent child rebate (DCR).35

Cost of living rebate: If you hold a WA Seniors Card, you could be eligible for a rebate that helps cover the cost of rising living expenses, including energy bills. The State Government automatically pays money into eligible accounts every July.32

Life Support Equipment Electricity Subsidy Scheme: A subsidy towards electricity costs for running life support equipment at home to assist those financially disadvantaged.

Underground electricity connection charge rebate: If you’re an eligible Western Australian looking to connect to an underground electricity supply, this rebate can help cover some of the connection fees or defer the charge.33

Thermoregulatory dysfunction energy subsidy scheme: This power bill rebate helps if you’re a disadvantaged Western Australian with a thermoregulatory dysfunction (unable to control your body temperature) and you need power equipment to control the temperature in your home.34

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra parliament house

Utilities concession: You may be eligible for an annual concession on electricity, natural gas, water and sewerage if you reside in the ACT and meet criteria set by the ACT Revenue Office.36 The amount is calculated daily and varies between seasons.

Hot water heat pump rebate: To help ACT residents become more energy efficient, this rebate offers eligible customers discounts when they replace old water heaters with efficient hot water heat pumps.40 These pumps use up to 80% less energy than normal electric or gas systems.

Household battery rebate: As part of the ACT Government’s Next Generation Energy Storage program, you can receive a rebate if you invest in an eligible battery storage system.39 The rebate varies based on the size of the system and the kilowatts of electricity it can store. When paired with rooftop solar panels, the idea is to send electricity your panels generate to your battery, so you can use it and potentially save money.

Reverse cycle air conditioner rebate: As an incentive to help you heat and cool your home more efficiently, this initiative slashes the price of electric reverse cycle air conditioners for eligible ACT residents.38 However, this is under the condition that you must surrender an old gas heater for a new reverse cycle air conditioner. Read more about energy-efficient appliances.

Solar for low-income program: To help you save money on electricity, this program offers you a subsidy of up to 50% on rooftop solar panel installation.37 You must meet the eligibility criteria set by the ACT Government.

Northern Territory

darwin at night

NT concession scheme: If you’re an eligible concession card holder in the Northern Territory, you may be eligible for electricity concessions.41 The amount you receive varies based on whether you’re a:

  • Jacana Energy or Power and Water customer: Annual concessions are calculated on a fixed daily rate and capped at a maximum amount set by the Northern Territory Government.
  • Pre-paid customer: If you’re an eligible customer and pay for electricity through secure meters, e-meters or tokens, you may receive payments throughout the year (usually in January or July) to help cover electricity costs.
  • Alternative energy customer: You may be eligible for a daily fixed rate concession if you’re deemed an alternative energy customer (such as someone who’s not connected to the grid or receives electricity tokens from crisis accommodation or caravan parks).

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Please note: We don’t support comparing in Tasmania or the Northern Territory as these areas aren’t open to competition. We don’t have access to all of the products available in your area: we do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands. At times certain brands or products may not be available or offered to you. From time to time we may have access to better offers that are only available over the phone. Call us to see if you are eligible. Learn more.

Sources
  1. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Annual electricity concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  2. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Controlled load electricity concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  3. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Electricity transfer fee waiver’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  4. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Excess electricity concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  5. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Excess gas concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  6. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Life support concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  7. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Medical cooling concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  8. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Non-mains energy concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  9. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Service to property charge concession’ – Accessed 19/10/2020
  10. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Winter gas concession’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  11. Victoria State Government Health and Human Services – ‘Utility relief grant scheme’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  12. New South Wales Government – ‘Apply for the Gas Rebate (retail customers)’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  13. New South Wales Government – ‘Apply for the Family Energy Rebate (retail customers)’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  14. New South Wales Government – ‘Apply for the Life Support Energy Rebate (retail customers)’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  15. New South Wales Government – ‘Apply for the Low Income Household Rebate (retail customers)’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  16. New South Wales Government – ‘Apply for the Medical Energy Rebate (retail customers)’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  17. New South Wales Government – ‘Apply for the Seniors Energy Rebate’ – Accessed 22/10/2020
  18. Queensland Government – ‘Electricity and gas rebates’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  19. Queensland Government – ‘Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  20. Queensland Government – ‘Electricity life support’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  21. Queensland Government – ‘Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  22. Government of South Australia – ‘Cost of Living Concession’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  23. Government of South Australia – ‘Home Dialysis Electricity Concession’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  24. Government of South Australia – ‘Medical heating and cooling concession’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  25. Government of South Australia – ‘Residential park resident concessions’ – Accessed 23/10/2020
  26. Tasmanian Government Discounts and Concessions – ‘Electricity’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  27. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Account Establishment Fee Rebate – Electricity’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  28. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS)’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  29. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Energy Assistance Payment (EAP)’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  30. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Air Conditioning Rebate – Electricity’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  31. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Dependent Child Rebate – Electricity’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  32. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Cost of Living Rebate’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  33. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Underground Electricity Connection Charge Rebate’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  34. Western Australian Government: Concessions WA – ‘Thermoregulatory Dysfunction Energy Subsidy Scheme’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  35. Western Australian Government – ‘Subsidies Fact Sheet – Energy Concession Extension Scheme’ – Accessed 26/10/2020
  36. ACT Government: ACT Revenue Office – ‘Utilities Concession’ – Accessed 28/10/2020
  37. ACT Government – ‘Solar for Low Income Program’ – Accessed 28/10/2020
  38. ACT Government – ‘Reverse cycle air conditioner’ – Accessed 28/10/2020
  39. ACT Government – ‘Household Battery Storage’ – Accessed 28/10/2020
  40. ACT Government – ‘Hot water heat pump’ – Accessed 28/10/2020
  41. Northern Territory Government – ‘Electricity concessions’ – Accessed 28/10/2020

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