HEALTH Care Card holders and asylum seekers in Queensland now have an extra six months to apply for a backdated electricity rebate which could save up to $330 a year on their electricity bills.
Minister for Energy Mark Bailey has announced the Palaszczuk Government is extending the deadline for applications for the $330 electricity rebate to 31 December 2017 – which would be backdated to 1 January 2017.
“The Palaszczuk Government has decided to extend the deadline following feedback from the community and groups such as Queensland Council of Social Service,” Mr Bailey said.
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“Thanks to Palaszczuk Government reforms announced in 2016, more than 157,000 Queenslanders are able to apply for the electricity rebate through their retailer to receive an average of $330 a year off their bill.”
Mr Bailey said this cost of living assistance was thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s additional $170 million investment over four years to expand the current rebate, in response to Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) findings.
“The average payment of $330 per year will go a long way in helping vulnerable families with electricity costs,” he 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 report.
“The rebate will continue to be available for eligible Pensioner Concession Card holders, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Card holders or Queensland Seniors Card holders.
“People who apply after the 31 December deadline will still get their rebate, it just won’t be backdated to 1 January.”
Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to stabilising electricity prices after they surged 43 per cent during the Newman-Nicholls government.
“We came to government with a firm commitment to Queenslanders to stabilise electricity prices and this is another step forward, that will help low-income earners,” he said.
“This action is something the LNP could have done, but didn’t.
“Our Powering Queensland Plan announced on Monday, which includes a $770 million investment to reduce the impact of the recent QCA price rises, means in our first term, residential electricity prices have risen just 1.9 per cent on average per year.”
To apply for these concessions households should call their electricity retailer and provide their Health Care Card or ImmiCard number.
Further information about eligibility and available assistance for vulnerable Queenslanders is available via 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit www.qld.gov.au/community/cost-of-living-support/concessions or www.dews.qld.gov.au/electricity/rebates