Small Business Energy Bill Relief Rebate
Eligible Queensland small businesses will receive $650 in energy bill relief during 2023-24.
For most eligible small businesses, the rebate will be split into instalments and automatically credited to electricity bills on a quarterly basis. The first two instalments were applied to accounts in July 2023 and early October 2023, and will appear on electricity bills issued after these dates. Future instalment dates will be January 2024 and April 2024.
The Energy Bill Relief Rebate for eligible small businesses will be co-funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments through the Energy Bill Relief Fund, and will be in addition to any energy rebates you may already receive.
Learn more about the Small Business Energy Bill Relief Rebate.
Eligible Queensland households will also receive a Cost of Living Rebate during 2023-24. Learn more about the Cost of Living Rebate.
Frequently asked questions
About the Energy Bill Relief Rebate
WHAT IS THE ENERGY BILL RELIEF REBATE? WHY AM I RECEIVING IT?
The Queensland Government has announced the $700 Cost of Living Rebate for vulnerable households receiving the Queensland Electricity Rebate, and the $550 Cost of Living Rebate for all other Queensland households.
Because Queensland’s power assets are publicly owned, Queenslanders can share in the dividends they produce. The $550 Cost of Living Rebate in 2023-24 brings the total dividends Queenslanders have received to $1,125 since 2018.
WHEN WILL THE REBATE BE PAID? DO I NEED TO APPLY?
The rebate will be split into instalments of $162.50 and automatically applied over the course of 2023-24 on a quarterly basis.
Quarterly instalment dates - July 2023, October 2023, January 2024 & April 2024.
NOTE: Customers billed quarterly will see two credits on the October bill (for the July & October instalments) if the July bill was issued prior to the credit being applied.
HOW WILL I KNOW THE REBATE HAS BEEN APPLIED?
Under the “Other Charges & Credits” section of your bill you’ll also see a credit, with the wording “QLD AUS Small Business Energy Relief Rebate”
NOTE: The second rebate instalment was automatically credited to all eligible accounts at the start of October 2023. This means you may start to see the credit if logging into My Account or checking your account balance through our phone system (as these systems are updated in real time.) Please ensure you pay the total amount on your current bill when it is issued.
HOW WILL THE REBATE BE APPLIED IF I RECEIVE MONTHLY BILLS?
Customers billed monthly will receive the rebate quarterly. The credit will appear on the monthly bill issued after the rebate instalment has been applied.
WILL THIS REBATE AFFECT MY OTHER ENERGY REBATES?
No. The Rebate will be provided to all eligible small businesses and does not affect customers’ eligibility for any other energy rebates.
I HAVE A PAYMENT EXTENSION. DOES THIS AFFECT MY PAYMENTS?
The rebate does not impact payment arrangements already in place. Please continue to make payments to your account as per your agreed payment schedule.
I HAVE A SMOOTHPAY. DOES THIS AFFECT MY PAYMENTS?
The rebate does not impact SmoothPay arrangements already in place. Please continue to make payments to your account as per your agreed payment schedule.
I HAVE AN OVERDUE ACCOUNT ON MY RECENT ELECTRICITY BILL, AM I STILL ELIGIBLE?
Yes. All eligible small businesses with an active electricity account on the first day of each quarter will automatically be provided with the rebate, regardless of the account balance.
WILL THE REBATE AFFECT MY SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFF?
No. You’ll receive the rebate in addition to any solar feed-in tariff you may receive.
WILL THE METER SERVICES CHARGE BE TAKEN OUT OF MY REBATE?
No. All eligible customers will receive the rebate as a credit on their bill. Meter services charges aren’t taken out of the rebate – they simply appear in the same section of your bill under ‘Other Charges & Credits’.
WILL I STILL RECEIVE THE REBATE IF MY ACCOUNT IS IN CREDIT?
Yes. The rebate will still be applied to the bill for customers who may be in credit. Any remaining rebate credit is to be carried over to your next bill, and any subsequent bills until you’re no longer in credit.
CAN I HAVE THE REBATE PAID TO MY BUSINESS DIRECTLY, RATHER THAN MY ELECTRICITY BILL?
No. The rebate is intended to assist small businesses with electricity costs and therefore can only be applied on electricity bills.
CAN I HAVE THE ENERGY BILL RELIEF REBATE REFUNDED TO ME AS A CREDIT?
You can obtain a refund of the rebate if:
- You are finalising your account, will no longer hold any active account with Ergon Energy Retail and your account is in credit
- You have solar and are regularly in credit. In this case you are eligible for a full refund, inclusive of the rebate
- You have an active Direct Debit that results in your bills being regularly in credit. In this instance you are only eligible for a full refund of the credit balance after the rebate has been absorbed by energy usage.
WHAT IF I CLOSE MY ACCOUNT AFTER THE REBATE HAS BEEN APPLIED TO THE BILL? WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM IN CREDIT ON MY FINAL BILL?
You can receive a refund of the credit if you no longer hold any active account with Ergon Energy Retail and your account is in credit.
DOES GST APPLY TO THE ENERGY BILL RELIEF REBATE?
No. The rebate credits are not taxable or relevant for GST purposes.
IF I OWN A SMALL BUSINESS THAT HAS MULTIPLE SITES WILL THE REBATE BE APPLIED TO EACH SITE?
No. Please refer to the separate Small Businesses with Multiple Sites FAQ.
I DON’T RECEIVE A SEPARATE ELECTRICITY BILL, WILL I STILL GET THE REBATE?
No. Customers must be separately billed for their electricity supply/consumption and have an active account.
WHICH BUSINESSES ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE $650 REBATE?
- To be eligible for the $650 rebate, a business must meet Queensland’s statutory small business electricity usage criteria (i.e. consumption less than 100MWh per annum) on the relevant instalment date, and be separately metered for their electricity consumption
- The rebate will be applied on a per customer basis. For multi-site businesses, eligibility is based on the overall electricity consumption of all accounts held by the customer (rather than on a site by site basis)
- A customer running a small business out of their residential address will not be eligible for the rebate unless the business’ consumption is separately metered (i.e. on a small business tariff). Where consumption is on a residential tariff, they will not be eligible for the small business rebate
- To be eligible, a small business must have an active account on the first day of each quarter. This ensures a consistent approach for all Queensland's small businesses. The retailer who is financially responsible for the premises on that date will be responsible for applying the rebate to the customer’s next bill.
ARE ANY BUSINESSES EXCLUDED FROM RECEIVING THE REBATE?
Yes. The following types of businesses are NOT eligible for the rebate, irrespective of their consumption level, as the nature of the business does not fit within the intent of the government’s relief package for small businesses:
- banks and financial institutions (e.g. branches, ATMs)
- utilities, including telcos (e.g. Telstra shops) and rail (e.g. train stations)
- government-owned sites at federal, state and local level (e.g. Centrelink, council-owned libraries and pools)
- health funds (e.g. BUPA and Medibank stores)
Embedded network operators are asked to use their best endeavours to ensure the rebate is not applied to these types of businesses.
Small businesses with embedded networks
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE REBATE IF I RECEIVE MY ELECTRICITY BILL FROM A BODY CORPORATE OR A SITE MANAGER?
Not all small businesses have an account with an electricity retailer. In some situations, a landlord, lessor, management corporation or an entity contracted by these parties buys electricity in bulk and on-sells this to small businesses based on how much they consume. This is most common in shopping centres, office buildings and industrial parks.
On-supply customers will also receive the Small Business Energy Bill Relief Rebate. Arrangements are in place such that embedded network operators will receive a credit on their electricity bill for the number of eligible small businesses they manage, and they will pass each rebate to the small businesses as part of their next bill.
WILL THE REBATE BE APPLIED QUARTERLY OR AS A ONE-OFF CREDIT?
Due to the added complexity of administering rebates to customers in embedded networks, the rebate will be paid as an annual lump sum only to small businesses who are eligible for the rebate on 1 July 2023. If you haven’t received this assistance by 31 December 2023, please contact your embedded network operator.
WILL I RECEIVE THE REBATE IF I AM IN AN EMBEDDED NETWORK AND OPEN A NEW ACCOUNT AFTER 1 JULY 2023?
No. To be eligible for the rebate, small businesses in an embedded network must have an active electricity account on 1 July 2023.
Embedded network owners
WHAT ACTION DO OPERATORS OR OWNERS OF EMBEDDED ELECTRICITY NETWORKS NEED TO TAKE?
Given the additional steps required to process rebates for embedded network customers, the rebates will be applied as a one-off lump sum of $650 by the embedded network operator on the customer's electricity bill.
Embedded network operators will need to submit the relevant form to their retailer notifying them of the number of eligible small business tenants they had in their embedded network on 1 July 2023. Operators are asked to submit the form as soon as possible after 1 July 2023 to assist with crediting accounts in a timely manner.
If you’re one of our embedded network customers, you’ll need to:
We understand that some exempt sellers engage a third-party meter reading and billing service. In this case you may wish to contact your third-party provider for assistance.
Once the credit has been received, embedded network operators are responsible for passing on the $650 Small Business Energy Bill Relief Rebate to the eligible small businesses on their next bill.
NOTE: Failure to pass on the dividend to residents is a breach of condition 12 of your retail exemption conditions with the Australian Energy Regulator.
If a correction is required after the lodgement of claims by the embedded network operator, this can be completed at a later date. In this situation, embedded network operators are to notify their retailer and submit a reconciliation claim using the same Form 533 with only the reconciliation numbers (i.e. the number of small businesses for which a claim was originally made, and the updated number of small businesses). A statement should be included on the Form 533 clearly stating if the claim is for additional rebates, or for the return of excess rebates.
I’M A SOLE TRADER OPERATING MY BUSINESS FROM HOME, AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE REBATE?
Where a sole trader is operating a business from home and their consumption is separately metered (i.e. on a small business tariff), they will be eligible for the $650 rebate.
Where their consumption is on a residential tariff, they will not be eligible for the $650 rebate.
Therefore, there may be instances where a customer receives the Small Business Energy Bill Relief Rebate and the Queensland household Cost of Living Rebate.
I’M A SOLE TRAFER ON A RESIDENTIAL TARIFF IN AN EMBEDDED NETWORK, AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE REBATE?
No. A similar process applies to residential sole traders who reside in an embedded network. As the sole trader is on a residential tariff, they will not qualify for the $650 small business rebate.
Small businesses with multiple sites
I AM A SMALL BUSINESS WITH MULTIPLE SITES/PREMISES. WILL THE REBATE BE APPLIED TO EACH SITE?
No. The rebate will be applied on a per customer basis. Therefore a small business customer that has multiple sites will receive one $650 rebate, provided total consumption across all sites is less than 100MWh per annum.
Any eligible small business customer who has multiple sites and does not receive the rebate as an automatic credit on any of their accounts should contact their retailer or embedded network operator to discuss their eligibility. If an eligible small business with multiple sites has received the rebate on one of their accounts, they are not eligible for a rebate on their other accounts.
NOTE: some small businesses are not billed directly by a retailer or embedded network operator (e.g. some franchisees), so they may not be identified to receive the rebate initially. These small businesses are encouraged to contact their billing provider and can be dealt with on a case by case basis.