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Thousands of Aussies missing out on energy rebates

Electricity power lines and energy rebates Australian money notes.
Aussies are missing out on energy rebates worth up to $750 a year, a new report has found. (Source: Getty)

Thousands of Aussies are missing out on energy bill concessions, with up to $750 a year not being claimed.

According to a new report by Victorian think tank Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC), millions of low-income Aussies are eligible for cost-of-living concessions, including discounts or rebates on electricity, gas and water bills.

But at least one in five low-income households in the National Energy Market were not receiving concessions, the report found.

“With the rise in cost of living, and electricity prices tipped for a 50 per cent increase over the next two years, energy concessions can offer immediate cost-of-living relief for many low-income Australian consumers,” CPRC CEO Erin Turner said.

“We found a significant gap between the number of people eligible for energy concessions and those receiving the concession on their energy bill.”

Which states are missing out?

The biggest gap was in ACT, the report found, where 41 per cent of people were missing out on potential discounts of $750 a year.

This was followed by South Australia, where 38 per cent of consumers were missing out on $241.63 a year.

In NSW, 35 per cent of consumers were missing out on $285 per year, while in Queensland, 29 per cent were missing out on savings of $372.20 for electricity and $80.77 for gas.

Tasmania had the smallest gap at 19 per cent. Discounts are calculated at a cents-per-day rate and consumers were missing out on 157.46 cents a day.

In Victoria, which has a different regulatory regime, 7 per cent were missing out on energy concessions, while 22 per cent were missing out on water bill support and 12 per cent on gas bill support.

Check your eligibility

It’s up to consumers to check whether they can get a rebate.

“Ultimately, the onus lies with consumers to navigate the administration required from government and energy retailers to get the rebate or discount they’re due,” Turner said.

Aussies will generally be eligible for energy rebates if they hold a valid concession card.

This includes pension concession cards, health care cards and DVA Gold cards, but there are also other eligible concession cards depending on your state or circumstances.

You’ll usually need to call your energy retailer directly to apply, except in South Australia where you can apply through the SA GOV website.

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