What’s the deal?
As the cold weather slowly subsides, now might be a good time to check that you have your winter gas and annual electricity concessions on your accounts. This will help you reduce those higher winter bills. If you have a Centrelink concession card you may receive a discount on your energy and water bills, for example:
- The Winter Gas Concession is a 17.5% discount on gas use between 1 May and 31 October each year (only after the first $62.40 of a winter gas bill).
- The Annual Electricity Concession is a 17.5% discount on electricity use all year round (only after the first $171.60 of an electricity bill).
If your annual electricity bills are over $2,882 or winter gas bills more than $1,523, then you must contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to continue to receive the 17.5% concession.
EWOV’s Concessions and grants Fact Sheet explains several other concession discounts, including life support, medical cooling, LPG and water and sewerage concessions.Remember, the 17.5% concession is calculated after any contract discounts or solar credits have been applied.
Where’s my discount?
If you’re eligible for a concession, but your discount is not on your bill, then you should do the following:
- Contact your company with your concession card details – this is your responsibility.
- Check that the account holder name on your bill matches the name on your concession card. The spelling must be exactly the same. Contact your company to make any updates.
- Ask your company to backdate the concession discount to your account. The company can go back and apply the discount for up to 12 months, if you were eligible during this time.
You might also be able to get a government grant
If you can’t pay your bills and your debt is growing then you may be eligible for a Utility Relief Grant of up to $500 for your electricity and gas accounts. The forms are provided by your energy company and applications are assessed by the DHHS.
You can visit the DHHS website to find out more about concessions and grants or call the DHHS Concessions Unit on 1800 658 521.
EWOV also has a Hot Topic on Concessions Advice.
Remember, if you are having problems paying your bills then raise this with your company and ask for a payment arrangement and financial hardship support.