Getting your money’s worth: a guide to current rebates, eligibility and options
There are programs rolling out across Australia to help households and businesses install solar power and make energy-saving upgrades
Rebates are constantly changing or being revised so best check with your state government agency website
There are rebates, subsidies and assistance grants available to improve overall energy efficiency and environmental outcomes
Whether or not you qualify can depend on your location, income or assets
Rebates are payments that help consumers cover the cost of purchasing and installing new equipment. They can come in the form of a discount on the price of a good or service or a partial refund after you’ve paid. A subsidy is a direct or indirect payment that provides financial support. Any rebates and STCs (small-scale technology certificates) are usually arranged by the supplier so you don’t need to do any paperwork to receive the discount.
Energy Bill Relief Fund
As of July 1, 2023, there is a nationwide energy bill concession known as the Energy Bill Relief Fund. Eligible households for this fund have so far been outlined as:
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders
- Families receiving income support, including the Family Tax Benefit A and B
Qualifying customers in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania are set to receive up to $500 towards electricity or gas bills. Households in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory will be eligible for rebates of up to $350. These payments should be made directly to eligible customers electricity accounts.
For further details visit your relevant state or territory government website.
No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS)
The No Interest Loans Scheme is open to residents of all states and offers individuals and families on low incomes access to safe, fair and affordable loans for purchasing appliances such as fridges and freezers, washing machines and dryers, stoves and heaters.
Victoria has several electricity and gas rebates in the form of concessions on your utility bill. The Victorian Energy Upgrades program (VEU) sees households and businesses receive rebates or discounts on energy-saving products. As of June 2023, Solar Victoria offers the following rebates:
- Solar panel rebate: rebates of up to $1,400 plus interest-free loans for solar panels
- Hot water rebate: up to $1,000 for heat pump hot water systems
- Solar rebates for rental properties: rebates of up to $1,400 and advice on structuring agreements between landlords and renters
- Solar battery rebate: rebates to be replaced by no-interest loans for batteries from July 2023
- On 24 March 2023, a new round of the Power Saving Bonus program commenced where Victorian households can receive a new $250 payment, including any households that received a payment through previous rounds of the program.
The ACT has several electricity rebates and programs for households struggling to pay their bills. The ACT also offers generous incentives through the Sustainable Household Scheme to upgrade to energy-efficiency electric hot water through retailer ACTewagl. The ACT’s Sustainable Household Scheme will loan approved participants between $2,000 to $15,000 to buy energy-efficient products.
New South Wales has multiple energy rebates for residential customers. The NSW Energy Savings Scheme provides financial incentives to install energy efficient equipment and appliances in NSW households and businesses. The NSW Energy Bill Relief Fund provides $500 total bill relief per eligible household.
Tasmania has rebates to help cover electricity and gas costs for vulnerable households, particularly when it comes to heating expenses. The Energy Saver Loan Scheme in Tasmania provides no-interest loans to eligible applicants to fund the purchase price and installation of energy efficient products for amounts between $500 and $10,000. Aurora Energy’s Your Energy Support program provides eligible Tasmanian residential customers, experiencing financial difficulties, with the tools to take control of energy usage and bills.
South Australia offers a range of concessions for households struggling to pay their bills. The Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (Reps) is a South Australian Government energy productivity scheme that provides incentives for households and businesses to save energy.
The Northern Territory offers electricity concessions for vulnerable customers and those who need medical support.
The state government provides several electricity and gas rebates to Queensland residential customers. The Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme is a one-off $270 payment for Queensland households experiencing problems paying their electricity or reticulated natural gas bills because of an unforeseen emergency or a short-term financial crisis.
The Ergon Energy PeakSmart air conditioning program provides eligible Queensland households and businesses connected to Ergon’s network with financial incentives of up to $400 for purchasing and installing branded air conditioners or converting an existing air conditioner to PeakSmart.
Western Australia offers rebates to help cover electricity and gas costs for vulnerable households. Western Australia also offers an air conditioning rebate that subsidises the cost of operating an air conditioner for eligible households in areas of high heat discomfort.
For each state check your eligibility and opportunities on the relevant state government website, or head to the Rebates and Assistance Directory at energy.gov.au