COVID-19 energy relief announcements

SmartProcure COVID-19 releases and advisory notices

Potential demand charge deferral for COVID-19 impacted AusNet C&I customers

Applies to: VIC

AusNet Services cannot eliminate network charges, but they have established a policy which would see specific customers impacted by COVID-19 able to defer parts of their network charges to later in 2020.

These deferrals will be assessed on a case by case basis and where customers meet the required eligibility criteria:

  • For electricity, they can consider deferral of a portion of demand and capacity charges for Critical Peak Demand tariff customers impacted by COVID-19. This applies to C&I customers with usage greater than 160MHWhs per annum
  • For gas, they can consider the deferral of a portion of maximum hourly quantity charges for customers impacted by COVID-19

Eutility will be happy to apply on your behalf to your retailer, who will in turn make application to your network operator.

Northern Territory Business Hardship Package

Applies to: NT

The Business Hardship Package is available for a period of up to six months form 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.

If your business is a customer covered by the electricity pricing order you will then be entitled to an electricity tariff that is no more than 50% of the usual commercial rate.

You can apply if you are a business that meets the following criteria:

  • a legal entity and holds a valid Australian business number (ABN) as at 23 March 2020
  • a Territory enterprise
  • not a government agency, government owned body, statutory corporation, or local government
  • has an annual turnover of no more than $50 million
  • has experienced hardship of more than 30% reduction in turnover

Click here for more details.

Small business support grant of $750 automatically applied

Applies to: ACT

The rebate will apply to small businesses which have a combined load is less than 100Mwhs. This will be automatically applied in June or July 2020.

This rebate applies per customer, not per location so it is based on an aggregated process.

This rebate excludes government, large business, charities, churches, clubs, associations, residential or community sector.

Click here to see ACT Government updates.

Relief available for genuine hardship cases from April 30 2020

Applies to: NSW, SA, VIC

Energy Networks Australia

“For small businesses that are mothballed, electricity and gas network charges will not be applied from the start of April to the end of June 2020, if their consumption is less than a quarter what it was in 2019.”

View these Energy Networks Australia media releases:

Energy network relief package announced
COVID-19 Electricity and gas network relief package

Immediate tariff relief for customers consuming less that 40MWhs per annum

Applies to: SA

SA Power Networks

“We will provide immediate tariff relief through the retailer for up to 80,000 small businesses using up to 40 MWh per annum who between April and the end of June consume less than 25% of their usual consumption for that three month period.”

Click here for more details.

Update

$500 rebate on electricity bill per NMI

Applies to: QLD

A $500 per NMI rebate applies on electricity bills for all Queensland small and medium sized businesses that consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours.

This will be automatically applied to electricity bills on April 30, 2020.

  • Single site customers are eligible using less than 100 Mwhs
  • Multi-site customers must aggregate their consumption and be under 100 Mwhs
  • Ineligible customers are banks, financial institutions, utilities, government and health funds

Click here for more details.

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Small business support grant of up to $10,000

Applies to: NSW

The NSW Government is providing financial support to ease the pressures on small business as a result of COVID-19.

If your small business or non-profit organisation has experienced a significant decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for the small business support grant of up to $10,000.

To be eligible for this grant, you must:

  • Be based in NSW
  • Be a small business (see guidelines)
  • Be registered with an ABN as at 1 March 2020
  • Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 (a Business Activity Statement must be provided as evidence)
  • Where a small business does not submit a BAS to the Australian Tax Office, and meets all other criteria, the small business should contact Service NSW to discuss further. In these cases, an income tax declaration may be accepted as evidence of an annual turnover of $75,000.
  • Employ 1-19 full-time workers as at 1 March 2020
  • Be able to report a payroll below the NSW 2019-2020 payroll tax threshold of $900,000
  • Have been highly impacted by Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 effective on 31 March 2020
  • Have experienced at least 75% decline in turnover compared to the same two-week period in 2019, as a result of COVID-19 (for businesses that have been in operation for less than 12 months, refer to the guidelines)
  • Have unavoidable business costs not otherwise the subject of other NSW and Commonwealth Government financial assistance measures.

Click here to apply online.

Small business support grant of up to $10,000

Applies to: SA

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its significant impact on local businesses, industry sectors and jobs, the South Australian Government has announced an economic stimulus package worth $650 million.

In order to apply for this grant please click here.

Update

Small business support grant of up to $10,000

Applies to: VIC

The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to help small businesses survive the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep people in work.

In order to apply for this grant please click here.

Small businesses are eligible if they:

  • Employ staff.
  • Have been subject to closure or is highly impacted by Restricted Activity Directions issued by Activity Directions.
  • Have a turnover of more than $75,000.
  • Have payroll of less than $650,000.
  • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 16 March 2020 (date of the State of Emergency declaration).
  • Have been engaged in carrying out the operation of the business in the Australian State of Victoria on 16 March 2020.

Click here to view the Victorian Governments Restricted Activity Direction (No 3).

Some Small Businesses will have invoices waived after April 1 2020

Applies to: TAS

Eligible Small Businesses on the below energy products will have 100% of their next bill (after April 1st 2020) automatically waived.

  • Business Time of Use (Tariff 94)
  • General Business (Tariff 22)
  • Irrigation Time of Use (Tariff 75)
  • Low Voltage Demand (Tariff 82)

Click here for more information on the Tasmanian Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) support program.

One off small business support grant of up to $2,500

Applies to: WA

A one-off $2,500 credit is available for around 95,000 small business customers on certain tariffs that consume less than 50MWh per annum.

Electricity bills for around 95,000 small businesses will be reduced, with a one-off $2,500 WA Small Business Tariff Offset available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers that consume less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum.

Ceased Operation Customers – no disconnection penalty

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Waive disconnection, reconnection and/or contract break fees for small businesses that have ceased operation, along with daily supply charges to retailers, during any period of disconnection until at least 31 July 2020.

Life Support Customer Priority

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Prioritise the safety of customers who require life support equipment and continue to meet responsibilities to new life support customers.

Debt Collection Deferral

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Defer referrals of customers to debt collection agencies for recovery actions, or credit default listing until at least 31 July 2020.

Payment Plan Modification

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Potential to modify existing payment plans if a customer’s changed circumstances make this necessary.

C&I – No Disconnection for On-Selling Customers

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Do not disconnect any large business customer, without their agreement, before 31 July 2020, and potentially beyond, if that customer is on-selling energy to residential or small business customers (for example, in residential parks or retirement villages).

Small Business Owner – No Disconnection

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Small business customers who may be in financial stress, will not be disconnected without their agreement, before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond.

Small Business Owner – Financial Stress Relief

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Small business customers who indicate they may be in financial stress maybe allowed a payment plan or hardship arrangement.

Update

Embedded Network Retailer Rebate Programme

Applies to: QLD

Please be aware Eutility can assist in recovering these retailer rebates for the embedded network operator but not the ultimate residential consumer.

For operators of embedded networks, the following approach will apply:

  1. Embedded network operators/exempt sellers will need to send the relevant form to their retailer identifying the number of occupied households or businesses in their network. Again, there will be separate claim forms provided for embedded network operators to use for both rebates.
  2. Retailers will claim a bulk payment from Smart Service Queensland. The bulk payment received by retailers will be credited on the embedded network operator’s account.
  3. Embedded network operators will be responsible for distributing the payment to their customers as a credit on their next invoice.

Below are useful resources pertaining to the Queensland Government Utility Relief Payment:

Update

An Energy Retailer’s Latest Eutility Client Relief

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

An energy retailer has announced they will not be imposing any consumption shortfall penalties on existing electricity fixed price contracts in regard to electricity.

With gas contracts we must apply for any take or pay volume reductions on a case by case basis.

Update

Existing Energy Contract Price Reduction Now!

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Some retailers currently are offering a Blend and Extend on existing contracts. Depending on your existing contract terms, we may be able to reduce your current contracted rates now by extending the existing contract by blending the rates for a cost reduction. Please contact us if you would like to explore this option, initially to identify if this is available from your current retailer.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) Statement : Protecting consumers and the energy market during COVID-19

Applies to: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA

Information and the AER statement can be found at this page.

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