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Covid-19

What is the $600 WA Household Electricity Credit Offset?

The McGowan Government announced on 4 October, as part of the 2020-21 State Budget, a one-off electricity account credit to be applied as an offset to reduce electricity bills to eligible residential customer accounts.

The $600 one-off WA Household Electricity Credit will be applied to eligible customers’ accounts on and from 1 November 2020, allowing more families to have a bit of extra money available in the lead up to Christmas.

Who is eligible for the WA Household Electricity Credit?

The WA Household Electricity Credit will be applied as an offset to current residential customer accounts that were supplied electricity by Synergy under an eligible residential product as at 4 October 2020.

There is no application or opt-in action needed from customers that have an eligible customer account to receive the credit.

Eligible residential products include:

  • The Home Plan (A1) Tariff.
  • All non-standard residential electricity supply products including the Smart Home Plan, EV Home Plan, and grandfathered products including SmartPower and PowerShift.
  • Pilot products offered by Synergy targeting residential customers including Alkimos Beach and PowerBank.

Eligible customer accounts are only entitled to one WA Household Electricity Credit per account.

K1 and business customers are not eligible for the credit. Eligible K1 customers received the Small Business and Charity Offset in May 2020.

B1 customers are not eligible as they will receive the credit under their A1 account (noting B1 customers will also have an accompanying eligible residential product that will receive the credit).

Households which are billed for their electricity use by other providers, such as residents of caravan parks, retirement villages, apartment buildings or communities supplied by local mining companies, will be eligible for an equivalent credit, except in exceptional circumstances.

Households that are billed by other providers and that were registered for the Energy Concession Extension Scheme (ECES) on 4 October 2020, will receive the credit automatically.

Work is currently underway on an application process for households not billed directly by Synergy or Horizon Power and for those who are not eligible for ECES.

Further information on the process for households not billed by Synergy or Horizon to obtain the credit will be provided on the WA Government’s ‘COVID-19 coronavirus: Latest updates’ page over the coming weeks.

What is the eligibility date for this?

To be eligible for the $600 credit, customers must be an existing residential customer of Synergy as at 4 October 2020 and supplied electricity under an eligible residential product. Any new customers that apply for a residential account after this date will not be eligible for the WA Household Electricity Credit.

The WA Household Electricity Credit will be applied as an offset to eligible customer accounts from 1 November 2020.

Can I get any credit in my account refunded to my bank account?

No. If you are transferring your customer account to a different address, then your credit can be carried forward and applied to future bills at the new address.

The WA Household Electricity Credit is non-refundable. Customers will not be able to seek a refund or cash-out any surplus amount, it can only be used as an offset against costs associated with the supply of electricity at the residential premises.

I am not billed by Synergy. Will I receive the Household Electricity Credit?

Households which are billed for their electricity use by other providers, such as residents of caravan parks, retirement villages, apartment buildings or communities supplied by local mining companies, will be eligible for an equivalent credit, except in exceptional circumstances.

Households that are billed by other providers and that were registered for the Energy Concession Extension Scheme (ECES) on 4 October 2020, will receive the credit automatically.

Work is currently underway on an application process for households not billed directly by Synergy or Horizon Power and for those who are not eligible for ECES.

Further information on the process for households not billed by Synergy or Horizon to obtain the credit will be provided on the WA Government’s ‘COVID-19 coronavirus: Latest updates’ page over the coming weeks.

How is Synergy Helping its customers during the current COVID-19 crisis?

Synergy is launching a series of initiatives in support of the WA state government stimulus package to support all West Australians through the current COVID-19 crisis. 

As part of the initiatives, Synergy will be working with customers who are experiencing difficulty in paying their energy bills and assist them through these difficult times. 

Below are some of the initiatives that will be made available to customers until 31 July 2020. Synergy will continue to re-assess its position on these initiatives and extend the support as needed and assessed. 

  • Disconnections On-hold: Putting a temporary stop on disconnection activities from 23 March 2020 until 30 September 2020 for customers who consume less than 50MWh per annum.
  • Payment Extensions: Providing up to 100 days extension to eligible customers to pay their bill from the date of issue. 
  • Payment Arrangements Extensions:  Increasing access to Promise to Pay Arrangements.
  • Late Payment Charges Waiver: Removal of the overdue notice fee ($5.30) effective 23 March 2020.
  • Interest Charges Waiver: From 1 April 2020 Synergy will waive all late payment interest for customers who consume less than 50MWh per annum.
  • Dishonour Fee Waiver: Removal of cheque dishonour fee, direct debit dishonour fee and rejected payment/dishonour fee for failed direct debits and cheques, effective 03 April 2020.
 
Who is eligible for these Synergy initiatives?

All Residential Customers:

  • Will not be disconnected between 23 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.
  • Will have an option to apply for a payment extension of up to 100 days from the bill issue date.
  • Will have increased access to Promise to Pay Arrangements.
  • Will not have to pay any late payment fees or interest charges for overdue amounts from 1 April 2020.
  • Will not have to pay any dishonour fees for failed direct debits and cheques.

All Business Customers

  • Will not be disconnected between 23 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.
  • Will have an option to apply for a payment extension of up to 100 days from the bill issue date.
  • Will have increased access to Promise to Pay Arrangements. 

All Small to Medium Business (consuming less than 50MWh per annum)

  • In addition to the support measures mentioned under All Businesses
  • Will not have to pay any late payment fees or interest charges for overdue amounts from 1 April 2020.
  • Will not have to pay any dishonour fees for failed direct debits and cheques.

Customers that are finding it difficult to pay their electricity bills during the current COVID-19 crisis, can reach out to Synergy for assistance and access to these initiatives.

 
How long will these initiatives be in place for?
All the initiatives to support customers through COVID-19 crisis will be in place until at least 31 July 2020. Synergy will continue to re-assess the situation and will extend these initiatives and consider additional initiatives if required.
How can I access these initiatives?
Customers will be able to access all the initiatives through My Account or the Synergy website by self-serving or by calling 13 13 53 . Payment extension - the application form for a payment extension is available on the Synergy website. 

For all other initiatives, if you are facing difficulty please reach out to Synergy via our website or through phone at 13 13 53.
I’m not on an eligible (non-contestable) tariff, what assistance can I receive during this period?
Synergy understands this is a challenging time for all businesses and whilst you are not eligible for the WA Government’s Small Business and Charity Group Electricity Tariff offset, we encourage you to contact us so we can assess your circumstances to see what assistance we can provide. 
What is the WA government Energy Assistance Payment (WAEAP)
The WA Government Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) is a scheme that provides payment assistance to eligible customers with electricity costs. The EAP is currently $305.25 per year and is passed on to customers as equal deductions split across the customer bills for the year.  The ‘normal’ or ‘base’ EAP will continue to be applied to customer bills in this way.
What is the WA government EAP boost payment?
The WA State Government is making an additional one-off EAP boost payment of $305.25 to eligible customers that will be applied as a lump sum credit to customers’ accounts from 11th May 2020.
Who is eligible for the EAP boost payment?
To be eligible for the one-off EAP boost payment of $305.25, customers must have successfully applied to receive or be receiving the EAP before 30 September 2020.   
  • The one-off EAP boost payment will be applied to the customer's account by 11 May 2020, if they were registered for the EAP by 30 April 2020.    
  • Eligible customers who register for the EAP after 30 April 2020 and by the deadline date of 30 September 2020, the one-off EAP boost payment will be applied to the customer's account by the 5th business day of the next month after their registration has been completed and will appear as a credit on the next bill after it has been applied to your account.
Customers receiving the boost payment will still be eligible for the 'normal' or ‘base’ EAP if they meet the eligibility requirements.
What are the eligibility requirements for the EAP?

You'll need to hold one of the following cards to be eligible for the EAP:

  • Centrelink Health Care Card
  • Centrelink Pensioner Concessions Card
  • Veteran Affairs Gold Card
  • Centrelink Commonwealth Seniors Card
  • Veteran Affairs Commonwealth Seniors Card
  • Veteran Affairs Pensioner Concession Card
Please note, to receive any credit into your account, the account must be active at the defined time of eligibility and the time Synergy is processing the credit.  
How do I make sure Synergy has my card details on system so that I am eligible?
The easiest way is to see if you received a payment on your most recent bill.  This will show up as a single credit line on your bill with the details of EAP.  You can also view previous bills via My Account. 
I have checked that I am eligible to receive this one-off boost payment. What do I need to do to ensure Synergy credits my account?

For all customers that were registered for the EAP before 17 March 2020, you do not have to do anything. The one-off boost payment will be automatically applied to your account and you will be able to see the credit in your first bill generated after 11 May 2020. 

For eligible customers who were not receiving the EAP before 17 March 2020, you have until the 30 September 2020 to register your concession details.  Once registered, eligible customers will receive the one-off EAP boost payment. You can register your concession details here.

The one-off EAP boost payment will be applied to your account by 11 May 2020, if you are registered for the EAP by 30 April 2020. Eligible customers who register for the EAP after 30 April 2020 and by the deadline date of 30 September 2020, the one-off EAP boost payment will be applied to your account by the 5th business day of the next month after your registration has been completed and will appear as a credit on the next bill after it has been applied to your account.

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