Energy Resilience Community Fund

Applications for the Energy Resilience Community Fund are now open

Supporting local recovery efforts and energy resilience in communities

Our new $10 million Energy Resilience Community Fund recognises communities severely impacted by the storm events in February this year and other electricity reliability challenges.

The Energy Resilience Community Fund aims to:

  • provide immediate support to individuals and small businesses most impacted by the recent storm-related power outages who are not eligible for other relief payments (applications now open)
  • support existing community facilities used during and after extreme weather events
  • collaborate with small businesses on support programs and energy storage solutions to aid business continuity during future weather events.

The Energy Resilience Community Fund has already contributed over $220,000 to emergency relief efforts for storm-impacted areas in the Dandenong Ranges and Gippsland. We will continue to support customers and energy resilience projects into the future.


Immediate support to individuals and small business

As the first part of the Energy Resilience Community Fund, financial hardship grants are now available for AusNet’s customers impacted by recent storm-related power outages. Subject to the below eligibility criteria, the financial hardship grant will provide:

  • residential customers with a $300 grant
  • business customers with a maximum $5000 grant.

To be eligible for a financial hardship grant as a residential customer, you must:

  • hold an electricity account for a property that was without power for more than 72 hours due to the severe weather events between Tuesday 13 February and Thursday 22 February 2024
  • the above property must have a national meter identification number (NMI) within AusNet’s Victorian electricity distribution network. You can find the NMI on your electricity bill
  • not be eligible for a Prolonged Power Outage Payment for the same above property
  • have proof of financial hardship verified by a health care card or pension card. You will need to upload a photo of your card, or electricity bill with concession status, as evidence when you apply
  • apply online before 11.59pm on Tuesday 30 April 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.

To be eligible for a financial hardship grant as a business customer, you must:

  • be operating from a location that was without power for more than 72 hours due to the severe weather events between Tuesday 13 February and Thursday 22 February 2024
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) as at 12.01am on 13 Feb 2024
  • have an electricity account that is registered against a national meter identification number (NMI) within AusNet’s Victorian electricity distribution network
  • provide a Statutory Declaration that the business:
    • is not insured for the loss
    • has an annual Victorian payroll of $10 million or less in 2022/2023 on an ungrouped basis
    • was not able to access backup emergency power supply (e.g. a generator).
  • provide proof of specific loss from the power outage event that is not covered by your insurance. Examples of uninsured losses include refrigerated stock like food or medicine. The Fund will not cover loss of revenue or damage to equipment and premises. Please see the FAQs below for more information
  • apply online before 11.59pm on Tuesday 30 April 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.

If your business recently received a Prolonged Power Outage Payment for the same NMI, you can still apply for the financial hardship grant. You will be eligible to receive the difference in amount between the specific loss (up to the maximum $5000 grant) and your Prolonged Power Outage Payment.


Apply for a Financial Hardship Grant

We are communicating directly with customers about available Financial Hardship payments. Please make sure your electricity retailer (the company you pay your bills to) has your current mobile number and email address so they can pass it onto us.

Charities and other community organisations can apply for emergency relief funding on a case-by-case basis by emailing ERCF@ausnetservices.com.au. We’ll soon publish more information about future resilience projects.

 


FAQs


Disclaimer

Information current as 1 March 2024 and subject to change. AusNet Pty Ltd (AusNet) reserves the right to alter, substitute or change eligibility requirements from time to time and may cancel or otherwise modify the fund or its purpose at any time. AusNet also reserves the right to accept applications that do not satisfy the eligibility requirements and all decisions regarding eligibility, acceptance of applications and amounts paid will be at the sole, and final discretion of AusNet. Any and all amounts paid are inclusive of any applicable taxes, fees or other applicable charges and the amount you receive will be net of any such taxes, fees or other applicable charges.
 
Whether to apply for a hardship payment is your choice and the receipt of a hardship payment may have tax, financial or other commercial consequences for you. AusNet does not make any recommendation, nor provide any advice (financial or otherwise) in this regard and before deciding to apply for a payment you should consider speaking to an independent financial, tax, accounting or other advisor, and consider whether it would be suitable for your individual needs, taking into account your financial, tax and other relevant circumstances.