Bill Relief

Energy bill relief payments in Australia 2024-25

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With the rising cost of living placing increased pressure on households, Australian federal, state and territory governments are offering a range of relief payments to eligible energy customers. These payments can be made in addition to regular energy rebates, and some require a specific application to access.

This Canstar Blue article explores the current Energy Bill Relief Fund 2023-24 and its 2024-45 extension, as well as other state- and territory-specific relief funding and emergency energy assistance payments.

Who is eligible for energy bill relief?

Energy bill relief is a one-off or series of payments offered by Australia’s federal, state or territory governments to help householders and small business owners manage rising energy costs. These payments include those originating from the national Energy Bill Relief Fund, as well as state- and territory-specific payments.

Some energy bill relief payments may require applicants to be eligible concession cardholders. Depending on the relief payment and the state or territory offering it, the following cardholders may be eligible:

  • Seniors Card
  • Immicard
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Gold Card
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card.

Energy bill emergency assistance payments might alternatively require that recipients prove that they’re suffering financial distress, or can only be accessed via the customer’s energy retailer’s hardship program. Read on to learn the requirements of schemes according to your location.

What is the Energy Bill Relief Fund?

The Energy Bill Relief Fund 2023-24 and its 2024-25 extension was introduced by the Federal Government to help with the energy costs of residential householders and small businesses. Under the 2023-24 scheme, the federal funding was targeted at concession card holders, family or carer payment recipients and other households receiving electricity concessions from their local state or territory government. 

Under the 2024-25 extension, households will receive $300 towards electricity bills in four quarterly instalments. This will be automatically applied by energy providers to customers’ electricity bills beginning July 1, 2024.

However, households on an embedded network, such as those who live in apartment buildings, caravan parks or retirement villages, will need to apply to their state or territory government to receive the payment.

About one million eligible small businesses will automatically receive $325 off their energy bills over 2024–25. The credits will be applied in quarterly instalments. To qualify, a business’s annual electricity consumption must be below the threshold set by their state or territory.

How do I apply for energy bill relief?

The 2024-25 extension of the Energy Bill Relief Fund is automatically applied by energy providers to customers’ electricity bills, meaning there is no need to apply for the payment. 

You can, however, apply for additional rebates or concessions to lighten the financial burden. These payments vary from state to state. Read on to find out what’s available in your area and how much you could receive.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Energy bill relief in NSW

Energy Bill Relief Fund

In 2023, eligible households in New South Wales received a one-time relief payment of up to $500, paid in quarterly instalments beginning July 31. An additional $300 is available to households and small businesses to cover the 2024-25 financial year. 

This relief payment is different from other energy rebates available in NSW. Other rebates include the Family Energy Rebate, which gives up to $180 per retail (on market) household per financial year, and the Seniors Energy Rebate, which gives eligible self-funded retirees $200 to help pay their energy bills each financial year. 

More information about these additional rebates can be found on the NSW government’s website.

Other available rebates and concessions include:

  • Low Income Household Rebate
  • Medical Energy Rebate
  • Life Support Rebate
  • Family Energy Rebate
  • Seniors Energy Rebate.

Note: For NSW households receiving energy rebates, only one Energy Bill Relief Fund payment per household will be available.

Energy bill relief in Victoria

Victorian householders received a $250 relief payment through the 2023-24 Energy Bill Relief Fund. Relief payments have now been extended to 2024-25 with an additional $300 available for eligible households.

Further state-sanctioned discounts, concessions and rebates are available for Victorians, including the Annual Electricity Concession which gives back 17.5% of electricity usage and service costs to eligible households. More information can be found on Victoria’s Department of Energy website.

Additional rebates and concessions include:

  • Annual Electricity Concession
  • Excess Electricity Concession
  • Excess Gas Concession
  • Life Support Concession
  • Medical Cooling Concession
  • Non-mains Energy Concession
  • Winter Gas Concession.

Note: Only one Energy Bill Relief Fund is available per Victorian household and the applicant must be the person named on the electricity account.

Energy bill relief in QLD

Queensland households will have the $1,000 Cost of Living Rebate 2024-25 automatically credited to electricity bills from July 1, 2024.

This payment is offered in addition to the Federal government’s $300 Energy Bill Relief Fund payment available to all eligible households and businesses in 2024-25.

The Queensland government has other state-specific rebates and concessions that can be found on its website. Other rebates include the Electricity Rebate, which gives households $372.20 per year, and the Reticulated Natural Gas Rebate, which provides $86.75 per year.

Additional rebates and concessions include:

  • The Electricity Rebate
  • The Reticulated Natural Gas Rebate
  • Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme
  • The Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme.

Note: The Cost of Living Rebate is available for grid-connected customers only (with exceptions for some Ergon Energy customers in isolated communities).

Energy bill relief in SA

South Australians already receiving the $500 Energy Bill Relief Fund 2023-24 payment will automatically receive the 2024-25 extension.

From July 1, eligible households will receive up to $300 a year, paid in quarterly credits on their electricity bill. Customers in embedded networks will receive the $300 as a one-off bank account payment. 

The South Australian Government has other state-specific rebates and concessions. Eligible households in SA can claim the Energy Bill Concession of up to $274.85 per year from July 1. There is also a Residential Park Resident Concession for up to $622.85 a year for residents who own their own dwelling and pay for water, sewerage and energy, or a payment of up to $409.45 a year for residential park residents who pay for water and energy.

Additional rebates and concessions include:

  • Energy Bill Concession
  • Residential Park Resident Concession
  • Medical Heating and Cooling Concession
  • Home Dialysis Electricity Concession.

Energy bill relief in WA

Synergy or Horizon Power customers or households registered for the Energy Concession Extension Scheme (ECES) in Western Australia will automatically receive a $700 bill credit.

The state government will pay $400 as part of the 2024-25 cost of living rebate and the other $300 will come as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

ECES customers will begin receiving the credit from the end of July, 2024. Other applicants will start to see the credit in September, 2024.

Those on an embedded network will need to contact RevenueWA to apply.

Energy bill relief from retailers

If you require further financial assistance to pay your energy bill, on top of the government rebates, you can contact your electricity provider directly to ask for a better deal or to enquire about additional help they may be able to provide. 

All energy providers must have energy hardship policies in place, which allow customers experiencing financial hardship to avoid disconnection or debt recovery action.

AGL energy bill relief

AGL’s Staying Connected program offers financial help and personalised assistance to customers having trouble paying their energy bills. AGL may ask customers to pay what they can afford or work with them to help them use power more efficiently.

AGL customers needing financial assistance can contact the retailer on 131 245.

EnergyAustralia energy bill relief

EnergyAustralia offers its customers the EnergyAssist Program. EnergyAustralia can help customers apply for government grants and other assistance schemes. Customers in the program may also have their account removed from standard EnergyAustralia credit and collection activities, and be offered flexible payment methods and extensions.

Customers in financial hardship can call EnergyAustralia on 133 466.

Origin energy bill relief

Origin customers have access to payment plans, spend controls, service limitations, temporary plan adjustments, personalised financial agreements, bill smoothing and the potential waiver of late fees. In NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, NT and WA, Origin’s financial assistance program is called Power On. In Victoria, Origin customers can access help through the Victorian Payment Difficulties Framework.

Customers requiring financial assistance can contact Origin on 1300 980 711.

Image credits: Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

 

Katrina Hasdell
Energy Content Producer
Katrina Hasdell is an Energy Content Producer at Canstar Blue, where she covers Australia’s retail energy market. Katrina is dedicated to providing consumers with easy-to-read information on their energy options so they can get better deals on electricity, solar power and more.

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