How the $300 energy rebate works

A key plank of the government’s 2024-25 Federal Budget is the $300 energy rebate, available to everyone. But how does the rebate actually work and are there any other energy concessions available?

Reducing cost of living pressure was the Treasurer’s stated priority for Tuesday night’s Federal Budget. Alongside the headline tax cuts, a $300 rebate off energy bills was announced for every Australian household, regardless of income.

But while it sounds good, how does this rebate actually work? Will you be sent $300 cash? Will your next bill be lowered by $300? Let us explain.

Who is eligible for the $300 energy rebate?

Every household in Australia. Treasurer Jim Chalmers was at pains to point out in his post-budget interviews on Tuesday that everyone would get the payment, regardless of income.

But the key word is ‘household’, meaning the $300 is paid once to each house, not $300 to each individual living in the house.

Finance minister Katy Gallagher told the ABC delivering the rebate to all households was the simplest way to distribute the funds.

“We looked at … the best way, the most efficient way, that we could provide that relief over the short term – so, it’s over the next 12 months – in a way that reached more people than concession cardholders,” she said.

How will it be distributed?

The $300 will be automatically taken off your upcoming electricity bills by your energy retailer – it will not be deposited into bank accounts or sent out as a check.

And the $300 won’t be delivered all at once. The money will be split among your next four quarterly bills ($75 per bill) for the next financial year.

If you pay your bills more frequently than quarterly, $75 will be credited to your account each quarter. So, for example if someone pays their bill monthly, they will get the $75 taken off every third bill they receive.

Paul Coughran, General Manager Utilities at Compare Club, says the broad distribution method will make it easier to claim.

“The $300 energy rebate will provide some welcome relief to households who are feeling bill stress,” he says.

“It looks like this rebate will be automatically applied too (unlike the Victorian $250 rebate) which makes it much easier for customers.”

Are there any other energy concessions available?

Each state and territory has their own set of energy rebates and concessions, and older Australians qualify for most of them.

New South Wales

The NSW government offers a number of energy rebates for concession card holders including the $200 Seniors Energy Rebate for self-funded retirees and the $285 Low Income Household Rebate for pensioners and veterans.

Pensioners and veterans may also be eligible for the $110 NSW Gas Rebate.

Victoria

In addition to the $300 payment next financial year, Victorian residents can also get $250 deposited back into their bank accounts simply by using the state government’s energy compare website.

Queensland

Queensland offers pensioners and seniors the $372 Electricity Rebate and the $80.77 Reticulated Natural Gas Rebate.

And this year, the state government will also give all Queensland households $1000 of their energy bills. Unlike the $300 payment from the federal government, this $1000 credit will be applied in full to your first electricity bill after 1 July.

Western Australia

WA offers three energy rebates: the $326.33 Energy Assistance Payment (EAP), the $68.34 per month Air Conditioning Rebate and the Dependent Child Rebate, which is paid at $343.14 for one child and $89.91 for each additional child.

But like the Queensland government, all WA residents will be getting an additional $400 taken off the next electricity bill after 1 July.

To be eligible for the EAP, you must hold one of the following concession cards: Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or DVA Gold Card.

Tasmania

Tassie is the coldest part of Australia for most of the year, and accordingly offers seniors the Heating Allowance for Pensioners. However, the rebate is just $56 annually, paid in two $28 payments in May and September.

All Tasmanian residents will also get a $250 credit off their first bill of the next financial year.

The state government does also offer some assistance for those on low incomes. The Annual Electricity Concession offers a roughly $1.40 per day discount off electricity bills for those who hold a Pensioner Concession Card or DVA Gold Card.

Northern Territory

The territory government offers a much more generous $1200 per year Electricity Concession to eligible recipients through its Northern Territory Concession Scheme, which offers discounts on a variety of different bills.

Similar to other jurisdictions, this payment is available to holders of a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or DVA Gold Card.

Australian Capital Territory

Through its Utilities Concession Scheme, the ACT government offers an annual rebate of $750 for help with power bills.

To be eligible, you need to hold a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, DVA Pensioner Concession or Gold Card, Low Income Health Care Card or the ACT Service Access Card.

How can I make sure I’m not paying too much for energy?

Mr Coughran says the number one thing you can do to make sure you’re not being overcharged for power is to regularly compare your bill to other retailers.

“Price change events can occur quite frequently in today’s marketplace. Customers can be paying $400+ more per year if they’re not comparing,” he says.

He also says to make sure you are actually taking advantage of all the concessions and rebates your state has to offer.

“Claim your concessions!” he says.

“Recent data shows that up to 60 per cent of customer eligible for a concession are not claiming it.”

How have your energy bills been recently? Are you still able to afford them? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: How to save $6000 on your energy bills

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. South Australia also has energy concessions available to concession card holders but they haven’t been listed in the article. Theo Maras, a wealthy and philanthropic developer in SA has been critical of the $300 rebate going to people like him and is establishing a fund with the St. Vincent de Paul Society to which people who don’t need the $300 can donate that sum to aid people in greater need. The notion that billionaires receive the same concession as struggling households because that was “the most efficient way” of doing it is ludicrous. I hope that wealthy/well off people in the other States generously donate their $300 to a charitable organisation too.

  2. When the Albanese Government came to power they promised to reduce the cost of power by $275. The current $300 energy rebate, to be deducted $75 per quarter from your electricity bill, is a ploy by Labor to stop the Liberals from castigating Labor at the next election for not providing the $275 reduction. It is only politics at play!

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