Thousands of ACT households will now be eligible to receive an $800 utility bill rebate, as part of a new cost-of-living measure announced in the territory’s budget.
The ACT government is making a one-off increase to its utilities concession - which covers electricity, natural gas, water and sewerage - raising the total amount from $750 to $800 in 2023-24.
It is also expanding the eligibility criteria to include anyone with a Commonwealth Health Care Card, taking the total number of eligible households to 43,800.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said high inflation and rising interest rates were continuing to place pressure on many households.
“This is the second year in a row the ACT government has provided a $50 increase to the Utilities Concession to help relieve cost-of-living pressures for low-income households,” Barr said.
“The expansion of the Utilities Concession eligibility criteria to include any Canberran with a Commonwealth Health Care Card is expected to support around 12,000 extra households.”
Who is eligible?
The ACT utilities concession will now be open to people who have a:
Commonwealth Health Care Card
Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card
Veteran’s Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card Holders
ACT Service Access Card
How do I apply?
If you are eligible, you can apply for the concession by contacting your energy provider.
What other energy relief is available?
From July 1, the federal government’s Energy Bill Relief Fund will also come into effect. This will see eligible ACT households receive $175 off their bills for the 2023-24 financial year.
This relief will be automatically applied by energy retailers once eligibility is confirmed.
The ACT said it had matched the commonwealth’s contribution through its Large-scale Feed-in Tariff Scheme, which is available to all electricity customers in the ACT. It is estimated to lower the average bill by $152.