How to make sure you’re receiving new energy bill relief funding

electricity bill relief is available

Desperate for relief on your energy bills? The federal government, and its state and territory counterparts, are giving targeted electricity bill relief to eligible households through the Energy Bill Relief Fund, which came into effect on 1 July.

To qualify for this payment, you must either be the primary electricity account holder or a named account holder. Additionally, you must hold an eligible concession card (eligible cards differ from state to state) or receive a qualified government payment from that state or territory government.

Each household can get only one bill relief credit, even if more than one eligible person is living there, and the relief is applicable only to your principal place of residence.

The relief amount for each household will differ depending on the location.

If you live in NSW, South Australia or Tasmania, you can get a generous $500 back per eligible household. Residents of Victoria can get $250 back per eligible household through this program and also receive a direct payment of $250 through the state’s 2023 Power Saving Bonus Payment.

All Queensland residents (regardless of welfare status) will receive $550 through the state’s new Cost of Living Rebate, while those currently receiving the Queensland Electricity Rebate will get $700.

In Western Australia, households registered with the Electricity Concession Extension Scheme (ECES) will get a $500 electricity credit split over two payments, while all other other residents will get a $400 electricity credit.

Northern Territory residents can get $350 per household, while in the ACT you’re eligible to receive $175 back. Although the ACT rebate is considerably smaller than other jurisdictions, the territory’s large-scale Feed-in Tariff Scheme means annual bills in the ACT are, on average, $152 cheaper.

If you qualify for one of those rebates but aren’t named on the bill and you pay for electricity, contact your electricity provider to get your name added to the bill so you can access the relief. Queensland or Western Australia residents needn’t worry about that, however.

In most cases, your electricity provider will automatically apply the bill relief to your electricity account, thus reducing the amount of your next bill.

The procedures may vary slightly between states and territories but, generally, if you’re already getting an existing electricity bill concession in your state or territory, the relief started on 1 July 2023.

Announced by Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers in the Federal Budget in May, the plan is intended to be a broad utility relief scheme that even residents in an embedded network (those who receive electricity through strata/landlords in places like apartment buildings or caravan parks) will qualify for.

“It’ll be different [the relief scheme] around the country,” he said at the time.

“We’ve struck eight different deals with different jurisdictions … but we hope and we expect that it will take some of the sting out of these price rises, which are putting pressure on families, households and small businesses.”

Are you eligible for the Energy Bill Relief Fund payment? How much can you get in your state or territory? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: El Niño looms over our electricity system, so we must plan for the worst

Written by Brad Lockyer

Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.

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