Cost of living rebate
Eligible Queensland households will save up to $700 on their electricity bill during 2023-24 through the Cost of Living Rebate.
Queensland households will receive one of the following Cost of Living Rebates in 2023-24:
- $700 Cost of Living Rebate - on electricity bills for vulnerable households who receive the existing $372 Queensland Electricity Rebate. Bringing total rebates for Queenslanders doing it toughest to $1,072
- $550 Cost of Living Rebate - on electricity bills for all other Queensland households.
For most households, 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 Cost of Living Rebate is in addition to any energy rebates and concessions you may already receive.
The rebate is mainly thanks to Queensland’s shareholding stake in the state’s energy assets, and will make life just that little bit easier for Queenslanders. The $550 Cost of Living Rebate in 2023-24 brings the total dividends Queenslanders will receive to $1,125 since 2018.
The $700 Cost of Living Rebate for vulnerable households will be partly funded by the Australian Government through the Energy Bill Relief Fund, and replaces the $500 energy rebate for vulnerable households previously announced.
Learn more about the Cost of Living Rebate.
The Queensland & Australian Governments also announced a $650 Energy Bill Relief Rebate for eligible small businesses during 2023-24. Learn more about the Small Business Energy Bill Relief Rebate.
Eligibility for the $700 Cost of Living Rebate
To be eligible for the $700 Cost of Living Rebate for vulnerable households, you'll need to be receiving the existing Queensland Electricity Rebate.
If you already receive the Queensland Electricity Rebate, you don’t need to do anything to receive the $700 Cost of Living Rebate.
If you haven’t applied for the Queensland Electricity Rebate yet and think you’re eligible, you can quickly apply via our online rebate form.
You'll need to have at least one of the following cards:
- Queensland Seniors Card
- Services Australia (Centrelink) or Department of Veterans' Affairs Pensioner Concession Card
- Services Australia (Centrelink) Health Care Card
- Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card (and receive the War Widow/er Pension or special rate TPI Pension)
- Asylum seeker status - residents will need to provide their ImmiCard details.
NOTE: Seniors Business Discount Card, Holders of a Foster Child Health Care Card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are not eligible for the electricity rebate.
Frequently asked questions
About the Cost of Living Rebate
WHAT IS THE COST OF LIVING 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 and automatically applied over the course of 2023-24 on a quarterly basis.
- The $700 Cost of Living Rebate is to be applied in quarterly instalments of $175; or
- The $550 Cost of Living Rebate is to be applied in quarterly instalments of $137.50.
Quarterly instalment dates - July 2023, October 2023, January 2024 & April 2024.
NOTE: Customers billed quarterly may 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 WHEN THE REBATE HAS BEEN CREDITED TO MY BILL?
Under the “Other Charges & Credits” section of your bill you’ll see a credit, with the wording “Queensland Govt Cost of Living 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 THE REBATE AFFECT MY OTHER CONCESSIONS?
No. The Cost of Living Rebate will be provided to all eligible Queensland households, and does not affect customers’ eligibility for any other Queensland Government concession or rebates, such as the Queensland Government’s Electricity Rebate.
I HAVE A PAYMENT EXTENSION. DOES THIS AFFECT MY PAYMENTS?
The Cost of Living 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 Cost of Living 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 households with an active electricity account on the first day of each quarter will automatically be provided with the Cost of Living Rebate instalment, regardless of the account balance.
WILL THE REBATE AFFECT MY SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFF?
No. You’ll receive the Cost of Living 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 Cost of Living 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 COST OF LIVING REBATE IF MY ACCOUNT IS IN CREDIT?
Yes. The Cost of Living Rebate will still be applied to the bill for customers who may be in credit. Any remaining Cost of Living 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 BANK ACCOUNT DIRECTLY, RATHER THAN MY ELECTRICITY BILL?
No. The Cost of Living Rebate is intended to assist households with electricity costs and therefore can only be applied on household electricity bills.
CAN I HAVE THE COST OF LIVING 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 Cost of Living 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 Cost of Living 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.
IS THE REBATE INCLUSIVE OF GST?
No. The rebate credits are not taxable or relevant for GST purposes.
WILL ALL HOUSEHOLDS RECEIVE THE COST OF LIVING REBATE?
The Cost of Living Rebate will be provided to active residential electricity accounts who receive a stand-alone bill for their electricity use.
Households who are billed by an on-supplier of electricity such as their landlord, property manager, caravan park owner or body corporate in an on-supply arrangement will also be eligible to receive the rebate.
On-suppliers or utility billing providers of these customers will credit the rebate to eligible customer bills.
WHAT IS AN ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLD?
- All Queensland customers classified as “residential” under the National Energy Retail Law and who have an active electricity account with an energy retailer or embedded network electricity supplier on the applicable dates will be eligible to receive the Cost of Living Rebate
- Residential customers who are already benefitting from the Queensland Government's $372 Electricity Rebate will receive the $700 Cost of Living Rebate
- All remaining residential customers will receive the $550 Cost of Living Rebate
- To be eligible, a residential customer must have an active account on the first day of each quarter
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE COST OF LIVING REBATE IF I RECEIVE MY ELECTRICITY BILL FROM A BODY CORPORATE OR A SITE MANAGER?
Not all households have an account with an electricity retailer. In some situations, a landlord, property manager, park owner or body corporate buys electricity in bulk and on-sells this to residents based on their metered consumption. This is known as an on-supply (exempt seller) arrangement.
On-supply customers will also receive the Cost of Living Rebate. Arrangements are in place such that residential complex owners or managers will receive a credit on their electricity bill for the number of households they manage, and they will pass each rebate onto eligible households as part of their next bill.
Due to the added complexity of administering rebates to customers in embedded networks, the Cost of Living Rebate will be paid as an annual lump sum only to households 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.
Refer to the embedded network owners FAQ for further information.
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 Cost of Living Rebate, residents in an embedded network must have an active electricity account on 1 July 2023.
WILL I RECEIVE THE REBATE IF I AM USING A CARD OPERATED ELECTRICITY METER IN A REMOTE COMMUNITY?
Yes. The rebate will be available in quarterly instalments to customers’ orange linked power card. Customers should check with the store where they recharge their power cards. This rebate will be available July, October, January and April.
MY ELECTRICITY IS INCLUDED IN MY RENT AND I DON’T RECEIVE A SEPARATE ELECTRICITY BILL – WILL I RECEIVE THE COST OF LIVING REBATE?
No. To receive the Cost of Living Rebate customers must receive a stand-alone bill for their electricity supply/consumption and have an active account.
Embedded network owners
WHAT ACTION DO OPERATORS OR OWNERS OF EMBEDDED ELECTRICITY NETWORKS NEED TO TAKE?
The Queensland Government is asking all embedded network owners to identify with their electricity retailer to ensure their embedded network customers are provided with the Cost of Living Rebate.
Given the additional steps required to process rebates for embedded network customers, the rebates will be applied as a one-off lump sum credit of either $700 or $550 by the embedded network operator on the customer's electricity bill.
To be eligible, a residential customer must have an active account with their embedded network operator on 1 July 2023.
Embedded network operators will need to submit the relevant form (Form 531) to their retailer notifying them of the number of eligible households 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:
- Complete Form 531.
- Return the form to Ergon Energy Retail as soon as possible after 1 July to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the form is completed and returned, we will provide a bulk credit to you (i.e. $700 x eligible occupied households + $550 x eligible occupied households). You will then provide the relevant Cost of Living Rebate to residents on their next bill.
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.
Embedded network operators are responsible for passing on the $700 or $550 Cost of Living Rebate to their residents 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 531 with only the reconciliation numbers (i.e. the number of residents for which a claim was originally made, and the updated number of occupants). A statement should be included on the Form 531 clearly stating if the claim is for additional rebates, or for the return of excess rebates.