2022 Energy Assistance Payments By State (Full List)
There are many energy assistance payment programs to help Australians in financial hardship. These include the Centrelink emergency payment, the EAP payment, and other rebates for seniors and pensioners, families. If you've found yourself in financial hardship and are unable to keep up with your electricity and gas bills, read on to learn what options are available to you, and how to apply.
|Skip ahead by clicking on your state & energy assistance payment program below:|
|New South Wales - Energy Assistance Payment Vouchers|
|Victoria - The Power Saving Bonus|
|Queensland - The Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme|
|Western Australia - The Energy Assistance Payment & HUGS|
|Nationwide - COVID-19 Assistance Payments|
(NSW) - Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Vouchers
If you are a resident of New South Wales, the following energy assistance payments may be available to you.
The New South Wales Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) is a voucher given as an energy assistance payment to residents of New South Wales who are facing short-term financial hardship.
Each energy assistance payment voucher or EAPA is worth $50 and is sent electronically to your energy retailer to be discounted from your home energy bills.
Below we explain who is eligible for the EAPA and how to apply.
Who Can Get an EAPA Voucher?
Anyone can get an EAPA voucher as long as you meet these 3 requirements:
- Your primary residence is in NSW and you have an electricity or gas account for your NSW address
- You are the account holder for the electricity or gas service at your residence
- You are experiencing a short-term crisis or emergency that impacts your ability to pay part or all of your energy bill
You are not eligible for the EAPA vouchers if:
- You use LPG (liquid propane gas)
- You live in an embedded network
- You have already paid your energy bill
- You are not the energy account holder.
How to apply for the EAPA vouchers in NSW
To apply for the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance vouchers (EAPA) you need all of the following:
- A MyServiceNSW account
- Two identity documents that match the name on the supply address of the energy account
- Personal and contact details
- Confirmation that you’re currently on a hardship plan (if applicable)
- Evidence of financial crisis (optional - such as a termination notice or proof of medical expenses)
- A copy of your most recent energy bill that shows the following:
- Your Full Name
- Energy Company's Name
- Account Number
- Your Meter Numbers
You can apply for the EAPA vouchers directly online through MyServiceNSW or an approved non-government EAPA provider. The application process includes an eligibility assessment with either an NSW Government representative or an approved non-government EAPA provider.
If you have a government assessment, you will have a 3-way-call between you, the assessor and your energy provider. However, non-government EAPA assessments will be done in person.
To see more energy rebates and concessions in New South Wales, visit our NSW energy assistance payment guide.
(VIC) - Power Saving Bonus
The Power Saving Bonus is a new energy assistance payment for residents of Victoria that helps reduce your energy payments.
The Power Saving Bonus is a one-off energy assistance payment of $250 for residential energy customers in Victoria. The Power Saving Bonus provides financial support to households going through financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Am I Eligible for the Power Saving Bonus?
You are eligible for the Power Saving Bonus if you meet both of the following requirements:
- You are a Victorian residential energy consumer
- You hold one of the following:
- Centrelink Pension Concession Card
- Job Seeker Allowance
- Youth Allowance
- Abstudy or Austudy
- Department of Veterans Affairs Pensioner Concession Card
- Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card
How to Apply for the Power Saving Bonus
To apply for the Power Saving Bonus you will need to submit:
- An Original PDF or hard-copy version of your household electricity bill from your retailer
- Your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) or DVA card number.
You can apply for the Victoria Power Saving Bonus by submitting an online application through the Victorian Energy Compare Website.
If you have doubts or trouble submitting an application for the Power Saving Binus, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 000 832 for more information.
(QLD) - Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme
For residents of Queensland, there is an energy assistance payment available for one-off financial support called the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme.
The Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme is an energy assistance payment for up to $720 which you can receive once every two years.
If you’re a Queensland resident experiencing sudden financial hardship due to an unforeseen emergency you could be eligible for the program. Read on to see who is eligible and how to apply.
Who is Eligible for the Queensland Home Emergency Assistance Scheme (HEEAS)
You are eligible for the Home Emergency Assistance Scheme if you meet these 2 requirements:
- You are a resident of Queensland
- You are responsible for paying the outstanding bill (the bill does not need to be in your name).
If you meet these requirements, then you must also have one of the following:
- Hold a current concession card
- Have an income equal to or less than the Australian Government’s maximum income rate for part-age pensioners
- Be part of your energy provider's hardship program or payment plan.
How to Apply for the Queensland Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme (HEEAS)
Contact your energy provider to apply for the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme.
Once you contact your energy provider, they will start the energy assistance payment application for you. You will get a Home Energy Assistance Scheme application number that you can use to finish the application online.
Once you have your application number they will confirm that you are eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Scheme. Once you have been confirmed, use the following online HEEAS form to complete your application.
If you live in regional or rural Queensland, you will most likely need to contact Ergon Energy. If you live in South East Queensland, you can find the phone number of your energy provider on your latest electricity or gas bill.
To see more energy rebates and concessions in Queensland, visit our complete guide here.
(WA) - Energy Assistance Payment & HUGS
There are two types of emergency assistance payment programs available in Western Australia depending on your circumstances and the help you need.
- Energy Assistance Payment (EAP)
- Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS)
· WA Energy Assistance Payment (EAP)
The Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) is a $300 payment offered by the government of Western Australia to assist homeowners with financial hardship to pay their energy bills.
The EAP is only available to Synergy & Horizon Power customers who have a Centrelink Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession card, Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold or Pensioner card.
To apply for the EAP, simply call your energy provider directly and request more information about the energy assistance payment. If your application is approved, the EAP will be credited directly toward you energy bill.
If you aren't a customer of Synergy or Horizon Power, you could still be entitled to an energy assistance payment through the Energy Concession Extension Scheme. Visit the government's Grants & Subsidies page for a full list of other hidden Centrelink payments available.
· WA Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS)
Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS) in Western Australia is another energy assistance payment to help utility customers who are unable to pay their bills due to financial hardship.
An important distinction about HUGS, as it's affectionately called, is that it's not only a water or energy assistance payment.
The main principle of HUGS is to connect utility providers with customers in order to share responsibility for managing financial difficulty and payment issues by working together to create a manageable payment arrangement in order to avoid disconnection and debt escalation.
However, an energy assistance payment through HUGS will only be available once other strategies have been exhausted, such as previous debt arrangements. See the drop-down menu below for answers to frequently asked questions about HUGS.
More about the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme (HUGS)
How much can I get with the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme?
The energy assistance payment amount you receive through the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme depends on several factors, but it must not exceed 85% of the amount you have outstanding on your water, gas, or electricity bill.
- If you live south of the 26th parallel (south of Denham), you are eligible for up to $580 per financial year.
- If you live north of the 26th parallel (north of and including Denham), you are eligible for up to $960 per financial year.
If you and your energy provider have arranged a 180-day debt payment plan, which you have complied with, your provider can recommend an additional $50 if the equivalent amount is waived from your outstanding debt.
Am I eligible for the Energy Assistance Payment in Western Australia?
Your eligibility for the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme depends on if your utility provider assesses you as being in of the following situation:
- You contact your utility provider to discuss your outstanding debt and you are assessed by your utility provider as being in financial hardship and not in payment difficulty, and
- You have exhausted all your options with the utility provider and entered into a payment arrangement for at least 180 days to address the outstanding debt, and
- After completion of the payment arrangement, if your outstanding bill is still more than $300
Who is not eligible for a Hardship Utility Grant?
You are not eligible for an energy assistance payment through HUGS if:
- You do not reside at the supply address
- You’ve already used your grant limit for the financial year
- You’ve been assessed as not being in financial hardship
- You have bottled gas
- For Water Corporation, Busselton Water, Aquest and Lancelin South Water customers, HUGS is only available for the owner-occupiers of residential properties
- You live in an Aboriginal community and have your water managed by the Water Corporation
- Your debt transfer is older than 12 months, such as debt transferred when moving house
How can I apply for the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme?
There are three steps when it comes to applying for the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme.
Utility Provider Assessment: All HUGS applications are made through your utility provider, so the first step to beginning the process is to contact your energy or water provider as soon as you are experiencing financial difficulties. Once you have started the application, your utility provider will work with you in order to assess whether you are eligible for the energy assistance payment through HUGS.
- Assess whether you are experiencing payment difficulties or in a state of financial hardship
- Sign you up for the Utility hardship program if applicable
- Set up a 180-day payment plan arrangement
Following the 180-day payment plan, and having avoided a disconnection or restriction notice, you can then request your energy assistance payment plan through your energy provider who will then begin the HUGS application on your behalf.
HUGS Service Centre Assessment: After your utility provider assesses your circumstances and you’ve met all the compliance and eligibility requirements, your application will be sent to the HUGS Service Centre. The Service Centre will comprehensively assess your situation and provide additional support and advice as to whether you will be recommended for a HUGS energy assistance payment.
Final HUGS Approval: The HUGS Service Centre will submit a recommendation on your HUGS application to the Department of Communities which will do a final assessment and review of the application and either approve or reject your energy assistance payment. If your application is approved it will be sent directly to your provider.
Can I apply for HUGS if my energy is disconnected?
Under certain circumstances, you might still be eligible for HUGS so contact your utility provider to discuss your options and eligibility. If you are eligible, you will also need to be sure you pay the minimum amount required to reconnect your property (usually 50% of the outstanding debt) and enter into a future payment arrangement of at least 180 days.
What if my HUGS application is denied?
If your HUGS application is denied, you will be notified directly. You can request a review of the decision within four weeks of the date of the notification it was denied. Requests to review must be made in writing and either sent by post to:
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 3
Perth BC 6849
Or by email to: email@example.com
(Nationwide) - COVID-19 Payments
There are two loss of income payments available through the Australian government for people struggling with financial loss from COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantine, or reduced work hours.
While these payments are not specifically energy assistance payments, they are blanket Centrelink payments that can be put toward your energy bills if needed.
There are 2 types of CoVID-19 Hidden Centrelink payments available:
- The COVID-19 Disaster Payment
- The COVID-19 Crisis Payment
These COVID-19 Centrelink payments are available through 2022.
· COVID-19 Disaster Payment
The Australian Government COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a lump sum available to help workers who are unable to earn an income due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown.
More About the COVID-19 Disaster Payment
When can I get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment?
You’ll be able to get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment starting from:
- 15 July 2021 for people in parts of Sydney
- 18 July 2021 for people in Greater Sydney
- 18 July 2021 for people in all other areas in NSW
- 23 July 2021 for people in Victoria
- 28 July 2021 for people in South Australia
How much is the COVID-19 Disaster Payment?
Depending on your circumstances you can be eligible for between $375 and $600 for each relevant period.
You will receive $375 for the following circumstances:
- If you lost either between 8 and 20 hours of work per week, or
- You lost a full day of your usual work hours
If you have lost 20 hours or more per week of work, you can get $600 for each relevant period.
How Do I Claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment?
To claim your COVID-19 Disaster Payment, you need a MyGov account linked to a Centrelink Online account. If you don’t have a myGov account, you can create one. For eligible working visa holders, you will need to call the Emergency Information Line to make a claim.
· COVID-19 Crisis Payment
The COVID-19 Crisis Payment is a government crisis payment available to Australians who must either enter quarantine or are caring for someone who is in quarantine or self-isolation due to the Coronavirus.
In order to be eligible, you must contact ServicesAustralia within 14 days of entering self-isolation or quarantine.
More about the COVID-19 Crisis Payment
Who Is Eligible for a COVID-19 Crisis Payment?
To get the COVID-19 Crisis Payment, you must be:
- eligible for an income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance
- in severe financial hardship
- in Australia when you claim
- In self-isolation or quarantine, or caring for someone in self-isolation or quarantine, due to COVID-19
If you are in lockdown, you are not eligible for this hidden Centrelink payment because you can still leave your home for essential reasons such as essential work, exercise, support visits, or to buy food and medicine.
How Much Is the COVID-19 Crisis Payment?
The amount you could receive from the COVID-19 Crisis Payment is equal to one week’s pay at the maximum basic rate of your income support payment of ABSTUDY Living Allowance. You can get a maximum of 2 Crisis Payments within a 6-month period.
How Can I Claim the COVID-19 Crisis Payment?
To claim the COVID-19 Crisis Payment in Australia you need to first establish your identity using myGov and contact ServicesAustralia within 14 days of quarantine or self-isolation.
You will also need to provide proof of severe financial hardship, which can include evidence of:
- the cash you have on hand
- the money you have in the bank
- other money you can access.
As well as evidence of needing to self-isolate which can include:
- proof that you, or the person you cared for, had a COVID-19 test
- documents from an authority or health professional instructing you, or the person you cared for, to self-isolate or quarantine
- notification of test results.
The easiest way to claim the COVID-19 Crisis Payment is online, and you’ll need to link your Centrelink online account with myGov using your Centrelink Customer Reference Number.
- Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
- Select Payments and Claims from the menu, then Claims, then Make a claim
- Select Crisis Payments
- Select Apply for Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency
- Answer all the questions
- Submit your claim
Once you’ve applied you can track your claim online through myGov, or use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
You may also be eligible to receive a solar rebate!To find out more visit our complete guide to solar rebates in Australia.