Vulnerable Queenslanders are being urged to check their eligibility to receive the Palaszczuk Government’s electricity and gas rebates worth up to $416 per year.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government was investing $212.8 million in 2020-21 as part of Queensland’s economic recovery plan to help vulnerable Queenslanders with the cost of living.
“This past year has been tough for everyone, so I’m urging all concession card holders including pensioners, seniors and veterans to contact their electricity retailer and see if they are eligible for our Electricity Rebate worth up to $341 per year,” he said.
“The government estimates that there are thousands of eligible households who are not taking advantage of the assistance and we don’t want these Queenslanders to miss out.
“Just call your electricity retailer and have your concession card details on hand, and if you’re eligible, you’ll be able to start accessing the rebate as a credit on your account.”
Minister de Brenni said the rebate was currently helping approximately 625,000 Queenslanders but there were more people who could be benefiting.
“Community organisations and retailers have been getting the message out there, but there are still more Queenslanders who could be getting ongoing assistance with their electricity accounts,” he said.
“Peoples’ concession card status is private information that electricity providers aren’t automatically aware of, so people need to reach out and put their hand up to receive this rebate.”
The electricity rebate was first introduced to support pensioners, seniors, and veterans, and was extended to Health Care Card holders and asylum seekers in January 2017.
Now, the rebate is provided to a range of people who need it most, including Low Income Health Care Card holders.
Minister de Brenni said Queensland pensioners, seniors and veterans could also be eligible for a gas rebate and should check with their gas retailer.
“There are also savings of $74.92 per year available for eligible Queenslanders through the Government’s Reticulated Natural Gas Rebate – all account holders need to do is contact their gas retailer to see if they’re eligible,” he said.
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Aimee McVeigh said the rebates could help people experiencing financial pressure.
“QCOSS urges people who are experiencing hardship to contact their energy retailer as soon as possible,” she said.
“If you need help to do this, reach out to your local neighbourhood centre.”
Minister de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government had also helped more than two million Queensland households with their utility costs through its $400 million COVID-19 household relief package.
“Last year, Queensland households received a $200 utility rebate and a $50 asset ownership dividend,” he said.
“We were able to deliver these savings straight into the pockets of Queenslanders by arranging with electricity providers to automatically apply the credit.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to supporting Queenslanders and this new year, we’d love to see all those who are eligible gain access to the electricity rebate on offer.”