Rebates and assistance
NSW Government Rebates
The NSW Government funds a number of rebate programs for electricity and gas customers, including:
- NSW Family Energy Rebate (apply online or download a PDF application form)
- Low Income Household Rebate
- NSW Gas Rebate
- Life Support Rebate
- Medical Energy Rebate
- Energy Blackouts Rebate
- Changes to pension eligibility
Important things to note:
- You may need to reapply for these rebates periodically.
- Generally, the energy, life support and medical rebates are not backdated.
- If your household is registered as using a life support system, you cannot be disconnected.
- If you move address or switch retailers, make sure that the rebate has been applied to your new account.
- The Family Energy and Low Income Household rebates are available to long-term residents in caravan or residential parks.
- As of 1 July 2013 the Low Income Household Rebate is available to eligible residents of retirement villages
- As of July 1 2015, if you operate more than one piece of life support equipment, or if more than one person in your home uses life support equipment, you may be entitled to multiple rebates. For more information, see this list of approved life support equipment
- NSW Energy & Resources has rebate language support for NSW consumers available in Arabic, simplified Chinese and Vietnamese
- The NSW Social Programs for Energy Code outlines that if you’re a new customer, your provider should ask if you are eligible for rebates at the time you open an account. If you become eligible for a rebate after you’ve opened an account, you should contact your retailer and provide them with your Centrelink or Veterans’ Affair number
- If you are a rebate participant, your retailer should use reasonable endeavours to help you identify the most appropriate market offer available
If you are not satisfied with how your supplier has applied your rebate, you contact us for help.
Federal Government Payments and Allowances
The Utilities Allowance is a Federal Government allowance designed to help pensioners meet the costs of regular bills such as gas, electricity and water. It is a non-taxable payment and it is not subject to an income or assets test. It is available to people residing in Australia who receive the age pension, Mature Age Allowance (MAA), Partner Allowance (PA) or Widow Allowance (WA).
Essential Medical Equipment Payment
To be eligible for the Essential Medical Equipment Payment, Centrelink customers and DVA Concession Card holders must provide proof that the specific equipment or heating/cooling is medically required. The rebate will be automatically paid each year once an application is accepted, so customers need to reapply if their personal circumstances change. Please note that this payment can be claimed for a wider range of equipment than is covered by the NSW State Government's Life Support and Medical Rebate schemes, including insulin pumps, electric wheelchairs and airbed vibrators. See if you're eligible here.
Some water suppliers (Sydney Water, Hunter Water, Shoalhaven Water) provide a range of rebates including pensioner rebates on water and sewerage charges. Sydney Water and Hunter Water also provide rebates to customers who use water in life-sustaining equipment such as kidney dialysis machines. Conditions vary so contact your water supplier for more information.
The asset test for the pension changed on 1 January 2017, which will mean that some people will no longer be eligible for energy or water rebates. Read more to find out if the changes affect your rebate eligibility.