NSW Energy Accounts Payment Assistance: How to claim up to $1,600

The New South Wales government has announced a welcome boost to its assistance payment for energy customers currently experiencing financial hardship due to soaring power prices.

NSW Energy Minster Matt Kean revealed the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme will increase from $300 to $400 per application from Monday, with up to $1,600 in vouchers available to eligible households each year.

“Eligible customers can receive payment assistance of up to $400 per application for electricity and up to $400 per application for gas bills twice a year. This means the annual maximum limit of vouchers has increased from $1,200 to $1,600 per household,” Mr Kean said.

The increase in payments is part of a $330 million package from the state government which includes energy rebates for around one million households.

It comes as the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) revealed default power prices will rise on 1 July, which will likely inflate residential bills over winter and beyond.

“With cost-of-living pressures increasing, colder weather arriving and days shortening, we want to make sure households in NSW not only keep the lights on but keep their families safe, warm and comfortable,” Mr Kean added.

Rising power prices in the state have been attributed to volatile wholesale market conditions, which has been exacerbated by rising coal and gas prices due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, unplanned power outages, fallout from a global pandemic, as well as recent extreme weather events.

While this scheme may assist many Australians, Mr Kean still encourages “all households to shop around to find the best deal for their energy.”

For the full terms and conditions or to check if you’re eligible, it’s best to visit the NSW government website.

Cheap Energy Plans in NSW

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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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. The next three tabs feature products exclusively from AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin.

Here are the AGL Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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 the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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 the Origin Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. 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 and to see other products in our database that may be available. 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.

Am I eligible for the $1,600 energy bill payment?

To be eligible for a payment through NSW’s Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Have an active electricity or natural gas account at a NSW residential address. Please note, this must be your primary place of residence.
  • Be the account holder of the electricity or natural gas account.
  • Be experiencing a short-term financial crisis or emergency which has caused financial hardship and impacted your ability to pay your bill. This could be due to; a loss of income, very high power or gas bills, an illness in the family, unexpected expenses or a family crisis.

You can not apply for this payment if you:

  • Use LPG instead of natural gas.
  • Live in an embedded network.
  • Have already paid your energy bill (i.e. cannot be backdated).
  • Have a business energy account.
  • Are not the account holder for the energy plan (i.e. it is someone else’s name).
  • Have closed your energy account.

Payments under this scheme will be received as vouchers up to $400, with two vouchers available per fuel type each year per eligible household.

This payment can be also claimed in conjunction with other rebates in the state, including The Low Income Household Rebate, Gas Rebate, Family Energy Rebate and Seniors Energy Rebate.

For more information, please refer to the NSW government website.

How do I apply for the $1,600 assistance payment?

You can apply for this payment either online through the NSW government website or over the phone. To apply online you’ll need to create a MyServiceNSW Account and fill out an application. From here, a representative will contact you within two to four weeks to discuss your eligibility. Keep in mind, however, that this may involve a three-way call with your energy retailer to discuss hardship and payment plan options.

If you wish to speak to someone over the phone however, you’ll need to contact an approved non-government EAPA provider, such as Anglicare, Salvation Army or Wesley Mission.

Please note, you will need an email address, two proof of identity documents, your latest electricity and/or gas bill and, if applicable, evidence of your financial hardship to apply for this payment online.

The NSW government also advises that you inform your energy retailer if you plan on applying for this scheme.

Cheap Gas Deals in NSW

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for NSW. These estimated annual costs are based on the Jemena Gas Network in Sydney and yearly gas usage of 18,542MJ, but prices will vary depending on your own circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

What is the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme?

The Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) Scheme was created by the NSW government to help customers who are financially struggling to pay their energy bills. It primarily focuses on helping consumers who are facing a short-term financial crisis, or an emergency such as unexpected medical bills, loss of income or a family crisis.

Eligible households can apply for EAPA vouchers to cover their electricity and/or natural gas bills. If they are approved, these vouchers are then sent to their energy provider electronically to help cover the costs of the bill.


Image credit: Atstock Productions/Shutterstock.com

Share this article