Post on June 12th, 2015
Save on your power bills with electricity concessions in QLD
Comparing electricity distributors and prices isn’t the only way to reduce your electricity bill. In certain cases, there are options you have to see you get savings that are rightfully deserved: electricity concessions. The QLD Government provides a number of electricity concessions for its residents, each with differing criteria. To make it easier to see if you qualify, we’ve created a list for you, so you can see whether or not you qualify to save money through any of these means.
So what is an electricity concession?
In its simplest form, an electricity concession is a saving that is applied to your energy bill, that sees you get a percentage or monetary reduction to your bill, or a rebate, based on a certain set of circumstances. These concessions are offered on behalf of the State Government by electricity distributors, and are designed to give assistance or help to those consumers that need it.
Electricity concessions available in QLD
Queensland residents are in luck, as there are quite a few concessions available that may apply to you. Here are some of the most common electricity concessions available in QLD, and the requirements for you to receive these concessions.
Queensland Electricity Concession
As at July 2017, the Queensland Electricity Concession sits at $0.85 per day, excluding GST. This is a daily rebate available in instalments through each monthly electricity bill for Queensland residents, and is applied to your registered place of residence.
Queensland residents are eligible for this concession if they have one of the following cards:
- Centrelink or Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) Pensioner Concession Card
- Queensland Seniors Card
- DVA Gold Card; For War Widow or Total or Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) pensions
In some good news, asylum seekers are also eligible for this concession, and will need to provide their ImmiCard details to confirm whether or not they’re eligible for this rebate.
Natural gas concessions are available at around $0.17 per day, excluding GST. This is a daily rebate applied quarterly on gas bills.
Eligible customers must have one of the following concession cards:
- Centrelink or DVA Pensioner Concession Card
- Queensland Seniors Card
- DVA Gold Card; For War Widow or TPI pensions
Electricity asset ownership dividend
In more good news for Queensland residents, the QLD Government is running an initiative that sees $200 million from the dividends of Government-owned corporations divided between QLD consumers. Households stand to receive $50 each year for the next two years.
This rebate is being supplied to residents from the second quarter of 2018 as a way to help provide an element of bill relief, and will be received in addition to any other rebates or concessions you’re receiving. Better yet, you don’t even need to apply for it, it’s automatic.
Energy efficient appliance rebate
While not directly covering your energy bills, this rebate sees you receive a reimbursement for buying energy efficient appliances, which will in turn help you reduce your power bill for the long term.
Starting in 1 January 2018, consumers will now receive the following rebates on energy efficient household appliances:
- $200 rebate for a 4-star or higher energy-rated washing machine
- $250 for a 4-star or higher energy-rated fridge
- $300 for a 4-star or higher energy-rated air conditioning unit.
There’s a limit of one rebate application per household, so make sure you choose the appliance you’ll be likely to use the most! Eligibility is easy: your appliance must meet a 4-star or higher energy rating, you must have bought it new, on or after 1 January 2018, and it must be for residential use only. An online sign-up form will be available soon, so register here to receive notification when it becomes available.
However, funding for this concession is limited, so when it becomes available, get in quick!
Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme
The Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme is primarily designed to help consumers who are experiencing short-term emergencies or financial crises pay their energy bills, so that consumers can keep their electricity connection during times of financial setback, and provides up to $720 once every two years.
To be eligible, you must be the person responsible for paying the outstanding bill (although the bill doesn’t have to be in your name, as might be the case with a carer or de facto partner), and fall under one of the following criteria:
- Hold a current QLD concession card
- Receive an income equal to or less than what the ATO sets as the maximum income rate for part-age pensioners
- Be a part of your electricity retailer’s hardship programme or payment plan.
Electricity Life Support
The Electricity Life Support concession is provided by the QLD Government to households who include someone who is seriously ill and requires the use of specific life support equipment, namely a home-based kidney dialysis machine or oxygen concentrator. This concession is provided to help contribute to the electricity costs of running such machines.
To be eligible for the rebate for use of an oxygen concentrator, you must:
- receive the oxygen concentrator through the Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS)
- have been assessed by criteria determined by the MASS
- and hold one of the following concession cards:
- Pensioner concession card, or Queensland Seniors Card
- Health Care Card, or Health Care Interim Voucher
- Child Disability Allowance.
Eligibility for a rebate for use of a kidney dialysis machine simply requires you to have your machine supplied through a Queensland Health hospital. It’s important to note that you are only eligible for these rebates if either of these machines is supplied through a Queensland Health hospital—supply from any other agency results in disqualification for this rebate.
Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme
The Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession Scheme helps to shoulder the electricity costs of those with chronic illnesses that are worsened by changes in temperature, or are unable to self-regulate their body temperature. Illnesses like multiple sclerosis, autonomic system dysfunction, severe inflammatory skin conditions, or significant burns are all covered under this scheme.
The current rebate for this scheme sits at $340.86 each year for eligible applicants, including GST. Applicants must have their eligibility reviewed every two years in order to ensure they still qualify. To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- be a resident of Queensland
- have a qualifying medical condition (a more detailed list can be found here)
- live at their primary place of residence, that has an air conditioning or heating unit.
If you’re the carer of or legal guardian for a qualifying individual, then you must be seen as being financial responsible for paying the electricity bill, and hold a current Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card.
Not eligible for an electricity rebate?
If you aren’t eligible for an electricity rebate, then in some cases you can consider yourself lucky. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with paying high electricity prices. There are ways that you too can combat rising utility costs, and save energy at the same time. And better yet, they won’t cost you a cent.
Here are some easy, practical tips that you can start doing today, that will help you reduce your energy use for the long term, meaning you can stop paying so much on your electricity bill:
- Turning off any lights in your home when you don’t need them. It sounds obvious, but remembering to do this every time you leave a room can have a long-term, sustainable impact on reducing your power bill.
- Switch non-essential appliances off at the wall when they’re not in use. If they’re still switched on, they’re still using power. Appliances like computers, TVs, dryers, washing machines, microwaves, kettles, and even phone chargers can use a shocking amount of power when they’re turned on, so switching them off—or unplugging altogether—is a great way to save.
- Take shorter showers. Keeping your showers to four minutes or less doesn’t just save water, but uses less energy required for heating.
- Take advantage of our weather and dry your clothes outside instead of in the dryer. Doing four loads of laundry outside has the potential to reduce your electricity bill by almost $150.
- Do the same with cooling your home—go natural. Close any windows, blinds, and curtains during summer to keep out the sun’s heat, and open them up again when the sun starts to set to let in the cooler evening air. You’ll save quite a bit of money, as opposed to using your air conditioner.
- You can even choose to use a fan instead of the air conditioner. A fan works out to be 80% cheaper to use, and can help you save up to $200 a year on your power bill.
- If it gets so hot that you do need to resort to air con, set it to between 23°C and 26°C. Doing this will save roughly $80 on your power bill—and after all, your house doesn’t need to be an ice box! For every degree that you increase it you’ll save roughly 10% on the cost of electricity it uses.
- The average four-person Australian household can comfortably survive on one fridge, so if you’ve got two fridges, think about whether you actually need them both. Older fridges use anywhere from two to three times more electricity than newer, energy-efficient models, so running on only one fridge has the potential to save you up to an estimated $200 a year on your bill.
- Running high-powered appliances like your dishwasher or your washing machine during off-peak times (usually at night) means you’ll be charged less for your use. So find out what hours your retailer considers to be off-peak, and do your washing or wash your dishes then.
Changing your electricity habits and using these energy-saving tips can have the effect of saving you hundreds of dollars on your electricity bill each year. But there’s one more thing you can do: do a comparison of electricity retailers, shop around for a new electricity plan, and make the switch to a company that will do you a better, cheaper deal on your electricity.
That’s what we’re here for.
Get a better deal on your electricity bills
At Electricity Wizard, we do all the hard work for you. When you call us, we’ll compare your rates and plans against our preferred suppliers available in your area and help you select a great plan for you. We are here to help you find a plan which will cut down your energy costs and meet any other criteria you may have. Best of all, our service is completely free, so what do you have to lose?