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Energy cash splash still on the cards

Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers and Australian money notes.
As energy bills skyrocket, the Federal Government has not ruled out cash rebates for Aussies. (Source: AAP/Getty)

The Government has not ruled out giving cash rebates to Aussies as households brace for higher energy bills.

Last week’s Budget forecast a 50 per cent increase to energy bills over the next two years, with the Treasury estimating a 20 per cent increase in late 2022 and a further 30 per cent hike in 2023-2024.

Now the Government is considering what its options are, including cash rebates for households.

“You can go down the path of direct support to households,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers told ABC’s Insiders.

“We don't want to rule out those kinds of options.”

But Chalmers said regulation, not cash handouts, was the priority.

The Government is looking at making a mandatory code of conduct for gas companies and making it more focused on “meaningful offers” for consumers.

Chalmers said the Government was considering including a price cap in that mandatory code and said the Government “don’t want to limit our options or narrow them down excessively”.

Chalmers couldn’t say when Aussies’ power bills would come down.

“We know that they will moderate in time,” the Treasurer said.

“We are always recalibrating our expectations for electricity price rises.”

What government rebates are on offer?

While no federal rebates have been announced, there are a range of state and territory rebates on offer.

For instance, NSW offers energy rebates of up to $180 for eligible families receiving the Family Tax Benefit and rebates of up to $200 for eligible seniors with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. You can use the NSW Savings Finder to find rebates relevant to you.

In Victoria, households can get a one-off $250 Power Saving Bonus when they visit the Victorian Energy Compare website.

In Queensland, households received a $175 cost-of-living rebate.

The rebate was automatically credited to eligible customer accounts and should appear on bills between September and November 2022, depending on your billing cycle.

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