Are electricity companies trying to fudge concessions?

Mary has been told concessions don’t apply to her and she wants answers.

Are electricity companies trying to fudge concessions?

Mary has been told concessions don’t apply to her and she wants answers.


Q. Mary
My husband has a health care card and I am listed as a secondary name on it. I applied to my electricity company AGL for a concession and they say the card has to be in my name as the bill is in my name. I argued that my name is on the card and the bill is for the property we both live at and the address is the same on the concession card. I can't seem to understand the logic behind this. Perhaps I am missing something.

By the by, I don't work and don't receive income from anywhere. I have applied for the Age Pension and still have no result after four months. Apparently, my application requires a specialist team to work out whether I am entitled or not and it takes four months to do this.

A. Unfortunately your electricity company is within its rights to deny your concession in this instance.

Some other electricity companies will allow you to claim the concession, so it is possible to look at switching companies to teach them a lesson. You can find a good comparison site here (

When you are listed on your partner’s concession card, the concessions are at the discretion of the provider.

If you are satisfied with your current electricity provider, you can investigate switching the electricity account over to your husband’s name and you will then be eligible for the concession.

With regards to the wait time on your pension application, Services Australia says that the median time to process an Age Pension application is usually 49 days, but we have heard of cases where it has taken up to eight months or more.

Services Australia has been particularly busy during the COVID-19 crisis, so it is not surprising to hear that things are taking longer than usual, but hopefully you receive some good news on this front soon.

What concession problems have you encountered recently?

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    Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    Chris B T
    3rd Aug 2020
    Change the Name on Bill to husband as he is the main one on concession card.
    3rd Aug 2020
    Have your husbands name added to the bill with yours - everything in our household is in both names.
    This is for one important reason - if something happens to one or the other our accounts remain open for the surviving partner!
    My husband was a bit resistant at first but understood how it can effect you and was happy to have both our names on bank accounts etc.
    3rd Aug 2020
    Give the bastards the boot ! Go to DODO ! I cannot understand why anyone with half a brain would go with AGL !
    Horace Cope
    3rd Aug 2020
    Gee, this isn't rocket surgery. Either put the bill in the husband's name or change companies to one which will allow a concession. Complaining about how hard done by you are doesn't solve any problems. You haven't said if you have been in contact with Centrelink to see how your application for an age pension is progressing, a sarcastic comment doesn't help.
    3rd Aug 2020
    Change to another service provider and use both names on bill.
    3rd Aug 2020
    I am a pensioner and live in a permanent on-site caravan park in northern

    I discovered that a concession for electricity is available for pensioners from the Tasmanian State Government of up to $515 per annum.

    I pay my electricity through the caravan park with each home having its own electric meter. When I applied to the electricity company they told me they could only accept bills directly from them and not those issued by the Caravan Park.

    The very people this concession is supposedly for cannot access it because some uncaring politician who didn't think it through.

    Time to change this absurd rule!
    3rd Aug 2020
    I had trouble with AGL months ago. Threaten to change to another provider. If that doesnt work also can enquire with the actual govt dept ( should be state govt) that gives the concession; that worked for me.

    3rd Aug 2020
    Didn’t take long for the YLC thought police to delete my previous post this morning… For those that missed it, here's a repeat …
    A rhetorical question without notice ... asking for a friend … WHY WAS DISSENTER ILUVCO2 SILENCED SOVIET STYLE BY CLIMATE ALARMISTS AT YOUR LIFE CHOICES BLOCKING HIS ABILITY TO LOGIN??? … this confirms what most rational people know … that LeftieWarmsters are totally intolerant of any blaspheming of their new age global warming cult disguised as science!
    If you don’t hear from me again then you know that I’ve been silenced as well … as expected.
    3rd Aug 2020
    You just put in the number on the card, they wouldn't know any different.
    4th Aug 2020
    It doesn't work that way.

    If you're not the first listed person on the card, with your own number, then the suppliers are quite within their rights to say 'NO' to you applying for the concession, as they can automatically confirm that you're entitled to the concession.

    Yes, it's probably easier to change the name on the account, but it could take time, as your partner/spouse would have to go through the same security checks that you did when you set up the account.

    I'm not too sure in regards to adding them to the account, as I've not done that. The electricity account has always been in my name as I'm the one entitled to a concession on accounts. You can add them as a person able to inquire on the account, but that's a different scenario - they don't have to go through any security checks just to be able to inquire on the account. The second person doesn't have any power to change anything on the account. If by any chance you pass away, then the account can then be easily transferred into the surviving partner/spouse's name.

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