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Family Energy Rebate NSW
The NSW Family Energy Rebate was set up to help families with dependent children cover their gas and electricity supply charges. It is available to households who receive the Federal Family Tax Benefit A or B, and can provide some welcome relief from the cost of living.
One way for savvy customers to save money off their energy bills is to compare offers from different retailers and switch to better rates. But if you still need a little extra help, here’s everything you need to know about the Family Energy Rebate, from eligibility criteria to the application process.
How much can I get back?
The rebate amount you may receive will vary depending on whether you also qualify for the Low Income Household Rebate (LIHR), and if you are a direct or ‘on-supplied’ customer of an energy retailer. Being ‘on-supplied’ means that instead of you receiving energy bills directly from your retailer, they are issued by, or on behalf of, the owners or management of your residential community, retirement village or strata scheme.
Eligible direct customers
Eligible direct customers can receive a concession of up to $150 per year. Your retailer will apply the rebate to your energy account and the credit will appear on your bill.
A direct customer eligible for both the Family Energy Rebate and Low Income Household Rebate (LIHR) could receive a combined, capped total of up to $250 per year. Bear in mind that receiving both rebates means your Family Energy Rebate will be capped at $15, regardless of how much you get back through the LIHR.
Your retailer will apply the Family Energy Rebate component of $15 to your energy account as a one-off credit, and the remaining LIHR amount of up to $235 as quarterly installments.
Eligible ‘on-supplied’ customers can receive a one-off annual rebate of up to $165, which includes a 10 per cent reimbursement for GST. The NSW Department of Industry will make the payment to your nominated bank account.
‘On-supplied’ customers eligible for the Family Energy Rebate and LIHR could receive up to $275 as a combined, capped rebate. You will receive the Family Energy Rebate component of $16.50 and the LIHR component of up to $258.50 as separate one-off payments to your bank account.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
To be eligible for the Family Energy Rebate, you must:
- Be a NSW resident, and
- Be one of the following:
- The customer of an electricity retailer
- The long-term resident of an on-supplied residential community
- The resident of an on-supplied retirement village
- A resident of an on-supplied strata scheme, and
- Have received the Family Tax Benefit A or B in the previous financial year, and
- Have had your entitlement to the FTB payments finalised by Centrelink.
What do I need to apply for the energy rebate?
Before you can make your application you will need to lodge your household tax return for the previous financial year, or inform the Department of Human Services (DHS) if you are not required to lodge a return. The DHS will assess your eligibility for the Family Tax Benefit A or B, and send you confirmation when it has been finalised.
You are now ready to apply for the rebate. To do this, you will need to have handy:
- Your DHS Customer Reference Number (CRN), and
- Your personal and contact details, and
- A copy of your most recent energy bill.
Direct customers will also need to supply their unique National Meter Identifier, or NMI Number. This can be found on your electricity bill – it will be a 10- or 11-digit number starting with a “4”. You can contact your electricity retailer if you can’t find your NMI.
Be sure to check that you have copied down your NMI correctly, or you will need to submit a new application.
Because ‘on-supplied’ customers do not receive bills directly from an electricity supplier, they do not need to provide an NMI in their application.
How do I submit my Family Energy Rebate application?
You can submit your application in two ways:
- Online. Eligible direct customers can submit an online application. You can download the form on your desktop computer, smartphone or tablet, and complete it within just a few minutes if you have your CRN and a recent energy bill at the ready. Your application will begin processing as soon as you hit ‘submit’.
- On paper. You will need to complete a paper application form if you are an on-supplied customer, do not have an email address, your energy retailer is not listed in the pull-down menu on the online application form, or you are registered with Centrelink as a protected person. You can contact Service NSW on 137 788 and ask for a form to be posted to you.
Submit paper applications to the NSW Department of Industry via:
Fax: (02) 6391 4734
Post: NSW Family Energy Rebate
Locked Bag 5123
Parramatta NSW 2124
Why do I need my energy retailer to confirm I am a customer?
To be eligible for the Family Energy Rebate, direct customers must receive a bill from an energy retailer. As the NSW Department of Industry explains, you need to be “an account holder of an electricity retailer… and whose name appears on the electricity account for supply to her or his principal place of residence”.
To confirm your eligibility for the rebate, the department will check whether the energy retailer you nominated has you as a customer on their billing system. The name, electricity account number and NMI number they have must match the details you provided on your application.
If everything matches, your retailer is required to provide a rebate credit against your electricity account.
Why has my application been declined?
One possible reason for a mismatch is if there is more than one name on your energy bill.
Your retailer needs to confirm you as a customer in order for your energy rebate application to be approved. If your application is declined, call your retailer and ask whether you are listed as the primary account holder on their billing system. Some NSW energy retailers will allow more than one person to be the account holder – though most don’t.
The department will let you know if your application has been declined due to “retailer mismatch”. If this happens, you should contact your retailer to find out what the problem might be.
If you need to restructure your household’s account so that you are the primary account holder, make sure you tell your retailer the change is only so that the details on your application for the Family Energy Rebate will match their billing information. This may help you avoid any potential fees or charges.
This does not apply to FER applicants who receive their energy from owners/management of on-supplied residential communities, retirement villages or strata schemes.
Do I need to apply for the energy rebate again next year?
A lot can happen in a year – you could get a new job, receive a pay rise, or your family situation may change. You will need to make a new application for the rebate each financial year to ensure you still meet the eligibility criteria.
Get even more back with iSelect
When it comes to the cost of living, government rebates can be a big help – but what if there was another way to shave money off your energy bill every month?
Thanks to the state government’s decision to deregulate the electricity market in July 2014, there is now an abundance of energy providers in NSW fighting it out for your business.
Having more options means more competition, and clever customers are often able to scoop up a great deal on energy by shopping around.
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So, what’s stopping you from finding a better deal? Visit iSelect and start paying less for energy today.
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