Help for households facing energy bill stress
The NSW Government is working with community organisations, energy retailers, and other partners to help households facing bill stress. Bill stress occurs when consumers are in hardship, or at risk of being in hardship, with above average energy use or energy bill debt.
Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme
The Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) scheme helps people experiencing a short term financial crisis or emergency pay their electricity or natural gas bill and stay connected. This scheme is not available on an ongoing basis.
How does the scheme work?
Vouchers are issued by participating providers such as St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and Anglicare. Each voucher is worth $50.
The EAPA provider determines each case on an individual basis through an assessment. The vouchers are sent electronically to the retailer, which will then be paid to your account.
Before contacting a provider to make an appointment for an assessment, contact your electricity or gas supplier to find out what payment plans and other assistance might be available. You may be able to agree on a payment plan to suit your financial situation.
The EAPA scheme is not available for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) invoices. For information on rebates for LPG please visit NSW Gas Rebates.
Participating EAPA providers
Find your closest EAPA Providers by downloading this PDF.
More EAPA information
If your organisation would like to help deliver the EAPA Scheme please contact eapa.info [at] planning.nsw.gov.au or 02 8275 1956.
For information on other long-term energy assistance measures, call Service NSW 13 77 88.
For general information on energy issues please contact your electricity or gas supplier.
Removal of energy retailer fees
As of 1 January 2018, electricity retailers are not allowed to charge exit fees or early termination fees when you decide to switch your supplier. You are free to find a better energy deal at any time. Fees for paper bills and for paying your bill at an Australia Post office have also been removed.
Appliance replacement offer
This offer reduces the upfront cost of replacing old, inefficient fridges and televisions. Information and registration is available now.
Social housing upgrades
The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) will contribute up to 50% of the funding towards energy saving measures in social housing properties. This includes ceiling insulation, draught proofing, solar panels, LED lighting, air conditioning, ceiling fans and hot water systems.
Energy hardship assist
Energy retailers and OEH will co-contribute to install solar panels for energy hardship customers in social housing. The social housing provider will not have to pay for the solar panels to be installed, but will own and maintain them.
Energy bill rebates
The NSW Government provides financial assistance to help eligible families, concession card holders and customers using approved medical equipment pay their energy bills. There is also assistance for people in a short term financial crisis or emergency. Information and registration is available now.
How will this help?
Households in bill stress make trade-offs in order to pay their energy bills. Trade-offs include problems such as going without comfort in a home that is too hot in summer or too cold in winter.
These programs will help households to:
- maintain a home that is comfortable and livable year round
- look after their health needs
- receive more affordable energy bills
- have increased financial control
- have increased control over choosing the best electricity plan
- improve their capacity to manage energy use.