Relief grants for paying overdue energy or water bills are available to low-income Victorians experiencing unexpected hardship.
What is the grant?
The grant provides help to pay a mains electricity, gas or water bill that is overdue due to a temporary financial crisis.
Who can apply for the grant?
An account holder who has one of the following eligible concession card:
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Health Care Card
- Veterans' Affairs Gold Card.
If you don’t have one of these cards but are registered with your utility company’s hardship program and part of a low-income household you may also apply.
The grant is available to renters and homeowners.
What are the criteria for the grant?
You must show that you have no way of paying the account without assistance, and
You must meet one of the five following criteria:
- You have had a substantial increase in utility use
- You have had a recent decrease in income, for example, lost your job
- You have had high unexpected costs for essential items
- The cost of shelter is more than 30% of your household income
- The cost of utility use is more than 10% of your household income.
How much is the grant?
The amount of the grant is based on the amount you owe at the time of application. It is capped at six months' worth of utility use up to a maximum of $500.
You can apply for separate grants for each utility (electricity, gas and water).
How often can I claim a grant?
A grant can only be given once every two years per utility type.
How do I apply for the grant?
Phone your electricity, gas or water retailer to request an application form. Your retailer will check your eligibility before sending out a form.
Phone your electricity, gas or water retailer or the Concessions information line.