With energy bills tipped to rise for hundreds of thousands of Victorian households from 1 July, the Victorian Government has thrown a lifeline by offering a one-off $250 payment to families across the state.1 Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews committed $250 million to the program in his 2022/23 budget and advised Victorian households that they could apply for the new incentive from 1 July.
What is the $250 Power Saving Bonus program?
As part of the 2022/23 Victorian budget, the Victorian Government is offering eligible households a one-off $250 payment to go towards energy bills. The $250 Power Saving Bonus program is intended to ease cost-of-living pressures that Victorian homes are currently facing, while also encouraging families to save money on energy prices.2
It’s not the first time Victorians have been offered payments to help cover energy bills. A one-off $50 payment was announced in the 2018/19 Victorian Budget, while Victorian concession recipients are currently entitled to a $250 payment until 30 June.
In good news for Victorians, households who received the previous Power Saving Bonuses can apply for the new incentive from 1 July – providing they meet all eligibility.
What do I need to be eligible for the $250 Power Saving Bonus program?
To be eligible for the new $250 Power Saving Bonus program, you simply need to be part of a Victorian household and:
- Have a recent electricity bill
- Be the account holder for the electricity bill
- Visit the Victorian Energy Compare website or participating community outreach partner service between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 to apply. Current community outreach partner services include Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Consumer Policy Research Centre and Good Shepherd.
Only one Bonus is available per Victorian household. While applications formally open on 1 July, households can register their interest on the Victorian Energy Compare website now to receive an invitation when the incentive is available.
How will I receive the $250 Power Saving Bonus?
Based on the current $250 Power Saving Bonus available, payments are typically made via electronic fund transfer within three weeks of initial submission. You may also be able to request a cheque payment, but this can take up to a month to arrive.
However, full details about the process for the new $250 Power Saving Bonus will be available when applications open on 1 July.
How many Victorians are paying too much for electricity?
Around 200,000 Victorian households are currently on the Victorian Default Offer – which is the maximum price that energy retailers can charge households on standing or default offers for power in their area.3 While it’s a fair price, families can find cheaper electricity plans that offer lower rates, perks, rewards, discounts and other incentives that keep costs lower.
Electricity retailers must let you know at least once every quarter if you’re on their best electricity plan or if you could save by switching to the best electricity plan with them. However, it may not be the best offer available in the market, which is why it’s important to compare your electricity regularly.
Is help available if I’m falling behind on my electricity bills?
While the $250 Power Saving Bonus program will help many households, it’s important to know that other assistance is available if you’re struggling to pay your bills. Always let your energy retailer know if you’re struggling to pay bills as early as possible, as they will be able to offer you a hardship plan. This could include various ways to pay your bills, the option to switch to the best plan, tips and tricks to manage energy usage and information around rebates and concessions, counselling services and other relief schemes.
You may also be offered payment extensions, other repayment options and bill smoothing.
You can also search for a better deal by comparing the plans available. Compare the Market’s free energy comparison service allows you to compare a range of plans from various providers in Australia. The best part is that if you find a cheaper electricity plan, you can switch and start saving in as little as two business days.
- Premier of Victoria – ‘Slashing Energy Bills With $250 Power Saving Bonus’ – Accessed 06/05/2022
- Victorian Energy Compare – ‘$250 Power Saving Bonus Program – FAQs’ – Accessed 06/05/2022
- Essential Services Commission – ‘Victorian Default Offer 2022-23 Draft Decision’ – Accessed 06/05/2022