60 per cent of eligible Aussies missing out on energy rebates, research finds

A new campaign highlights the huge number of Australians missing out on energy rebates worth as much as $500. And it turns out that the process for claiming the rebates is usually not complicated.

So why are so many Aussies missing out? According to the campaign, it all comes down to a failure in communication.

Can I interest you in $500?

If you were offered $500 for a few minutes of your time, would you even hesitate to accept it? Assuming the offer was legal and not morally compromising, you would surely say ‘yes’, wouldn’t you? I’m pretty sure I would.

And in a way, that’s the offer that’s been made to many Australians yet remains unaccepted. Why is that?

For a start, many Australians are not even aware of the offer. It has come in the form of energy rebates offered by state and territory governments. But some governments are better than others at getting the news out there.

Who’s offering them and who’s eligible?

Given this lack of awareness, Compare Club and the Energy Charter have joined forces to highlight what many are missing. Compare Club is supporting the Energy Charter’s campaign to push eligible Australians to claim the discounts to which they’re entitled.

And the amount involved is more than just a bit of loose change. Compare Club’s research suggests that older Australians could cut their energy bills by $500 simply by switching suppliers.

Research done by Energy Charter and Melbourne University’s Melbourne Institute shows as many as 60 per cent of eligible Australians entitled to energy bill rebates are failing to claim them. The majority are seniors and veterans, and it is this group that is the target of Compare Club and the Energy Charter’s joint campaign.

Titled Keep The Money, It’s Yours, the campaign encourages all Commonwealth concession card holders to claim significant energy rebates. The savings generated could provide vital relief to seniors and veterans, particularly as the cost of living continues to bite. 

Compare Club head of research Kate Browne said the low take-up rate was due to inadequate governmental communication. “States and territories have done the right thing [making] energy assistance available for those Australians [needing] it most,” she said.

“But unfortunately, it’s not communicated well.” Thus, “information is often buried on government websites, meaning households are missing out on money that’s rightfully theirs”.

How you can claim your energy rebate?

The one complicating factor here is that your location will determine how you can make your claim. Compare Club recommends following the path relevant to you from the options below:

  1. If you are a Commonwealth concession card holder or are eligible for an energy rebate, call your energy provider directly to activate it.
  2. If you’re in South Australia, call 1800 307 758 or visit sa.gov.au for information on Energy bill relief.
  3. If you’re in the Northern Territory, call 1800 777 704 or visit nt.gov.au for details on the NT Concession Scheme.
  4. If you aren’t eligible for a rebate, call Compare Club or visit the Compare Club website to find yourself a better deal.
  5. If your energy is facilitated through your strata or landlord, or you are based in a caravan park, apartment building or retirement home or village (via an embedded network), you can also ask the relevant energy providers. 

Were you aware you might be able to save up to $500 through energy rebates and deals? Will you be claiming your savings now? Let us know via the comments section below.

Also read: Customers paid the price as watchdog catches out energy giant

Disclaimer: YourLifeChoices is part of Compare Club Media.

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigaczhttps://www.patreon.com/AndrewGigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.


  1. The government needs to sort out and simplify it’s communications for all Seniors on all issues. They need to realise that many older people have never used computers at work or are not confident to do so for application forms. Many have English as a second language

    Many electricity companies, that’s if you can find a human to talk to, will tell you they dont know about government rebates and in NSW the best and most helpful people to talk to are at Services NSW.

    To illustrate my point regarding communication for Seniors: Until recently, I had no previous contact with Centrelink before becoming eligible for a Seniors Health Card. It took completion of an 18 page online form and numerous phone calls to get to first base. You would assume that once you were an Australian citizen that was it but no, over fifty years after naturalisation the form still ask for the ship or flight number you arrived on and do you identify as a First Nations citizen? The form also indicates if you weren’t married in Australia you may not be eligible for a Health Card (to get a power rebate). I phoned the Govt helpline for clarification on this and I was told “well you’ll just have to lie won’t you.” A woman at Centrelink told me I didn’t exist and at Services Australia I was told my passport and driving licence used for ID were probably forgeries. None of this was true, just that the system doesn’t work.

    And the government is now running a campaign to get Seniors to apply for the rebate? Is the idea just to make more work for themselves while pissing-off the public?

    • Govt. don’t really want everyone to apply for these rebates etc. They want to say each year at budget time “Oh, we put 500million into power rebates”. As only 200 million was used that gives them 300 million to put into ‘stuff’ they don’t want you knowing about.

    • The web based communication *is* the sorted out and simplified communication. Paper based systems are long gone and won’t be coming back. You’ll also likely find that the people you spoke to weren’t Centrelink staff, but external contracted call centre short term staff with nothing but a very limited knowledgebase to pull possible solutions from. The previous government was very big on paying external providers to deliver poor results. The solution in such circumstances it to ask to escalate your query, and eventually it will reach internal staff who have more knowledge and access.

  2. I live in Victoria and we were promised $250 in this years Federal Budget. I am yet to see any info regarding this. I have looked on Google and consulted my Energy Supplier to no avail. Can someone or Your Life Choices give me some advise. I feel they really don’t want us to receive it

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