New electricity rebate to help vulnerable Queenslanders

New electricity concessions to help 157,000 Queensland families save $330 a year on their energy bills came into effect on January 1.

Under the changes, eligible households with a Commonwealth Health Care Card, will be able to apply for the concession from April 1, but it will be back-dated to 1 January.

The changes were part of the Palaszczuk Government’s response to Queensland Productivity Commission findings.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s extended assistance through its Electricity Rebate will bring even more help to vulnerable households with Health Care Card holders and asylum seekers eligible to receive around $330 a year to help pay their energy bills,” Energy Minister Mark Bailey said.

“Reforming the energy concessions framework to improve support to vulnerable customers is a key element of the government’s response to the QPC’s findings.

“Importantly, there will be no changes to existing eligibility for Pensioner Concession Card holders, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Card holders or Queensland Seniors Card holders.”

Health Care Card holders can apply for the rebate by contacting their electricity retailer from April 1 2017. Once verified, the rebate will start appearing on the eligible customers’ next electricity bill, with payments back-dated to January 1 2017, or the period when the customer became eligible after January 1.

“These additional concessions are responsible reforms that will provide a real benefit to these sometimes vulnerable groups,” Mr Bailey said.