Applications for the 2016-2017 rebate period close at 11pm, Thursday 15 June 2017.
The Family Energy Rebate (FER) helps NSW family households with dependent children to cover the costs of their energy bills. The FER is available to applicants who were eligible for and received the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) from the Department of Human Services (DHS) in the previous financial year.
Who can apply?
You can apply if you are:
- A resident of NSW; and
- The account holder of your electricity account with an electricity retailer or an on-supplied electricity account holder; and
- The recipient for the FTB during the previous financial year. Please note: your FTB must have been finalised by the DHS before you submit an application for the FER. To check this you can contact the DHS on 136 150.
Am I an on-supplied or retailer applicant?
If you receive and pay your bills to an electricity retailer of your choice such as Energy Australia, Origin, AGLE or RedEnergy then you are an electricity retailer applicant. If approved, your FER will be applied by your retailer as a credit to you electricity bill. You can apply for the FER online or by completing a paper application form.
If you live in a residential community, retirement village or strata scheme and do not have an electricity account with an electricity retailer of your choice, then you probably have on-supplied electricity. This would mean you receive electricity bills from the management of your community or a company employed by the management of your community such as WinEnergy or EnergyTrade. If approved, your FER will be paid by the Department of Industry as a direct deposit into your bank account.
How much will I receive?
If your application is approved, you will qualify for either the full or partial FER payment. If you qualify for the partial payment, this means that you are also eligible for the NSW Low Income Household Rebate.
For retailer applicants:
You will receive either a partial ($15) or full ($150) credit on your electricity bill. If you receive the partial payment of $15, this means that you are also eligible for the Low Income Household Rebate. The FER is a one off credit applied to only one of your bills, once per financial year. The Low Income Household Rebate amount of $235 each financial year, is calculated per bill and applied at a rate of about $62 each quarter. If you would like to confirm whether you are already receiving the Low Income Household Rebate or to apply for the Low Income Household Rebate you will need to contact your retailer.
For on-supplied applicants:
You will receive either a partial ($16.50) of full ($165) payment made directly into your nominated bank account. If you have received the partial payment of $16.50, this means that you are also eligible for the Low Income Household Rebate. The Low Income Household Rebate is paid by the Department of Industry directly into your bank account as a lump sum of $258.50 once per financial year. For more information and details on how to apply visit the NSW Low Income Household Rebate page.
Before I apply
You will need to have the following information ready before you apply:
- Your DHS Customer Reference number (CRN)
- Your contact details
- A copy of you most recent electricity bill
- Make sure that your FTB has been finalised by the DHS for the previous financial year. Any application you lodge will be declined until this has been finalised and the DHS have sent you correspondence to confirm this. A sample of that correspondence is available here.
NOTE: DHS cannot finalise your FTB entitlement until your household tax returns have been completed by the ATO. If you or your partner did not need to complete a tax return, you need to contact the DHS to notify them of this before they can finalise your FTB. This process can take upwards of one month in peak periods.
How do I apply?
The FER application should be lodged by the person in your household receiving the FTB payments from DHS. If you are unsure, your FTB correspondence will be addressed to the person registered with DHS as the FTB recipient. The rebate applicant, FTB recipient and electricity account holder must be the same person. The last name you use when you lodge your rebate application must be exactly the same as the last name on your account with DHS and your retailer.
If you pay your electricity to an electricity retailer you can simply apply online here.
If you do not have access to the internet, do not want to lodge an online application or you are an on-supplied applicant, you will need to complete a paper application form. Please note that on-supplied applicants need to include a copy of their most recent electricity bill with their paper application.
You can send you paper application form either via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via post to NSW Family Energy Rebate, locked Bag 5123, Parramatta, NSW 2124.
Why has my application been rejected?
If you have submitted your application for the FER and received correspondence from us stating that your claim has been rejected, please read the letter carefully, as it contains important information as to why your claim was rejected. The two most common reasons your application was rejected are set out below.
Your Family Tax Benefit has not been finalised for the previous financial year
Your application will be declined until you FTB has been finalised for the previous financial year and the DHS has sent you correspondence to confirm this. Click here to view a sample of correspondence confirming you FTB has been finalised. Your FTB is not finalised until you have received this correspondence. DHS cannot finalise your FTB entitlement until your household tax returns have been completed by the ATO. If you or your partner did not need to complete a tax return, you need to contact the DHS to notify them of this before they can finalise your FTB. Please note that this process can take over a month to complete during peak periods.
The electricity account details you provided do not match exactly with the details held by your electricity retailer
If you have moved house, changed your name and/or changed electricity retailer recently you may have problems getting your rebate application approved. If you submit your application before receiving your new bill, the application will most likely decline, as your electricity retailer may not activate your account until just before generating your first bill. The best course of action is to wait until you receive a bill that has all of your current, correct information printed on it and then apply with the details on this bill.
You may also experience problems because the last name your retailer has recorded for you in their customer database is different from the last name you have recorded with DHS. This could be the result of a simple spelling error with your retailer or it may be you have not notified your retailer of a name change. The last name entered in your rebate application must match 100% with the details held by DHS and your retailer; otherwise your application will decline. If you are unsure whether your electricity retailer has your updated or correct details, you can call them to confirm this.
If it is coming close to or passed the FER application deadline and the Department of Industry has sent you a letter or email advising there is an issue matching your application with your electricity retailer, it is essential you contact the Department by email or phone to resolve your mismatch. The Energy Rebates Team can help you get your application approved if you contact them when asked.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
If you haven't found the answer to your question on this page, please visit our frequently asked questions page.
If you still have further questions, you can contact Service NSW on 137 788 or locate a service centre near you.
- National Relay Service 1300 555 727
- TTY Users 133 677
- Translation and Interpreter Services 131 450
- Department of Human Service (DHS) 132 300
- Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) 133 254