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 cards:
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Health Care Card
- Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card.
If you don’t have one of these cards but are part of a low-income household, you may also be able to apply. Your retailer will ask you some questions to check if you are eligible before issuing a form.
The grant is available to renters and homeowners.
What are the criteria for the grant?
You can only apply for a grant on an active account.
You must show that you have no way of paying the account without assistance, and
You must meet one of the following criteria:
- You or someone in your house has experienced family violence.
- 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.
How much is the grant?
The amount of the grant is based on the amount you owe at the time of application. It is also based on the reasons you have given for applying in your application form.
You can receive a maximum of $650 on each utility type in a two-year period (or $1,300 for households with a single source of energy (for example, electricity only).
You can apply for separate grants for each utility (electricity, gas and water).
How do I apply for the grant?
Phone your electricity, gas or water retailer to request an application.
Your retailer will ask you some preliminary questions before starting your application.
The application can be completed online, or your retailer will post you a paper form to complete. A friend, support worker or financial counsellor can help you complete the application.
Phone your electricity, gas or water retailer or the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521.