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Emergency Electricity Payment Scheme - EEPS

From July 1st the maximum EEPS payment will be doubled to $800, and the debt cap of $2,000 will be removed. Payments will be available every two years if needed.

The Emergency Electricity Payment Scheme (EEPS) is to provide assistance to households in a financial crisis who are unable to pay their electricity debt. A payment of up to $400 is provided to low-income households who have been disconnected or are at risk of disconnection. Applicants are entitled to apply for an emergency electricity payment once every three years after the date of their last EEPS payment.

EEPS is only accessible through the assistance of a financial counsellor, who will assess your financial situation before lodging an application.

Please contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 (Mon to Thurs: 9.30am–8pm and Friday: 9.30am-4.30pm) to book an appointment with a financial counsellor. Financial counselling is a free, confidential and independent service.

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Energy & Water Ombudsman SA

The Energy and Water Ombudsman SA offer a independent service, that can investigate and resolve disputes between electricity, gas and water retailers, distributors and their customers.

This service is available at no cost to consumers and is readily accessible regardless of ethnicity, language, skills, physical or mental abilities or geographic location within South Australia.

For more information about the complaint process, please call direct 1800 665 565 or visit the website link provided for a step by step guide on resolving disputes.

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Energy Bill Concessions

The Energy Bill Concession is available to eligible South Australians on low or fixed incomes for assistance with the cost of Electricity bills for their principal place of residence.

To be eligible you must:

- live at the property

- be listed as an account holder on your electricity bill

- hold an eligible concession card or receive an eligible Centrelink payment

- not be living with anyone who has an income of more than $3,000 per year, unless they either:

- get an allowance from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)

- are your spouse, domestic partner or dependent.

If you live in a residential park you may be eligible for a combined concession for your water, sewerage and energy - see Residential Park Resident Concessions link below.

You can apply online at the sa.gov website below, or download the application form and submit by email.

If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact the ConcessionsSA Hotline.

If you have previously applied for concessions, but are not currently receiving them, please contact the ConcessionsSA Hotline.

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Energy Bill Relief

Energy Bill Relief Rebate

Help to pay your electricity bill is available for eligible households, and small businesses. The Energy Bill Relief rebate applies in addition to the South Australian energy concession.

If you currently receive the energy concession, you’re already eligible for the rebate, and it will automatically be applied to your bills. You don’t need to do anything.

If you don’t receive the energy concession, check if you’re eligible for that first.

Energy concession - who can apply

Some people will be eligible for the rebate, but not concessions. They will be contacted in September 2023 about what they need to do.

Rebate Amount

The total rates for the 2023-24 financial year are:

- households - up to $500 a year (paid as a quarterly amount of $125)

- small businesses - up to $650 a year (paid as a quarterly amount of $162.50)

Who is eligible for the additional rebate?

Households

The person whose name appears on the electricity bill must have one of these:

- Pensioner Concession Card

- Health Care Card (including Low Income Health Care Card)

- DVA Gold Card

- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

- Family Tax Benefit (FTB) A or B

- Carer Allowance

Or, you must be eligible for the South Australian energy concession.

A household can only receive a single rebate even if there is more than one eligible person living there.

Eligibility is checked each quarter. You only need to be eligible on one day in a quarter to receive the energy bill relief for that quarter.

Small Businesses

In South Australia, small businesses that consume less than 160MWh of electricity per annum will receive the bill relief automatically from July 2023.

To be eligible, your business must be on a separately metered business tariff with your electricity retailer.

Small businesses that consume more than 160MWh of electricity per annum are not eligible.

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Energy Made Easy - Compare Energy Prices

Find an energy plan that best suits your needs.

This service will help you understand and compare your residential electricity and gas, usage and prices against similar households in your area. It also provides a wide range of useful information to learn about energy related topics such as energy efficiency, contracts, bills, your rights and obligations, and the energy market.

Energy Made Easy is an Australian Government website maintained by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

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Energy Retailers' Hardship Programs

All energy retailers in South Australia have programs available for customers who are experiencing financial hardship. If you are experiencing temporary or long term financial difficulties, speak to your energy retailer about their hardship program.

All energy retailers offer a hardship payment plan that takes into account ability to pay, debt owed, and expected energy consumption for next 12 months. It is important in accessing any hardship program to ONLY agree to sustainable payment plans. It is essential that you can afford to consistently make payments as agreed. Energy retailers will not disconnect people meeting the agreed payments within their hardship plan.

For people who need support in advocating payment arrangements ie: cannot afford the amount being requested by the energy provider, and an affordable amount cannot be reached, a good place to access help is the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

Contact numbers for energy retailers in South Australia are listed below.

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EnergySmart

EnergySmart website shows South Australians ways to save power and reduce energy bills.

Visit the website below to access the 96 page Guide to Reducing Your Energy Bills and watch the EnergySmart videos.

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Home Energy Audit & Toolkit

It can be hard to tell how much power you are using at home. A home energy audit can help you find out how much power your fridge, washing machine, TV and other appliances are using.

You can do a basic home energy audit using the attached audit guide or hire a home energy toolkit from your local public library free of charge.

Low income households may be eligible for a free home energy audit through the Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS). Households and businesses can access REPS activities by contacting any of the obliged retailers regardless of who they have an energy contract with, or by contacting any of the activity providers.

For more information, please contact 1800 671 907 or click on the links provided.

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Keeping your cool in a South Australian summer

The Summer Cooling Guide - provides a range of effective strategies to help keep your house cool over summer as well as indicating the average costs for cooling appliances and where they work best and extra information about the products available.

Extreme Heat - The heat waves experienced in a South Australian summer can be life threatening. Keeping safe in the heat particularly for older people, babies and people with ongoing health conditions needs careful management. SA Health's Extreme Heat guide is full of information about heat related conditions and staying safe.

Telecross REDi - For those vulnerable to heat and living alone or in isolated areas The Australian Red Cross provides Telecross REDi service which supports people by calling them daily during declared heatwaves to check on their well-being. Telecross REDi is activated when an extreme weather event is declared. If a call goes unanswered or if someone is in distress, an emergency procedure is activated to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the client.

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