The Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) Scheme provides energy vouchers to eligible residential energy customers experiencing a short term financial crisis or emergency, such as unexpected medical bills, or reduced income due to COVID-19, that leaves you unable to pay your current residential energy bill(s) (in part or in full). Applicants are assessed by an EAPA Provider to determine eligibility and vouchers are sent directly to the eligible customer's energy account.
Applying for EAPA vouchers involves an eligibility assessment. EAPA voucher limits apply and are based on your assessment.
1.1 The following definitions apply to these Terms and Conditions:
a. Agency means Service NSW
b. Applicant/s or You/you means a person who is making an Application
c. Application means an application for assistance under the EAPA Scheme yet only when the application is made to the Agency to be decided by the Department in its capacity as an EAPA Provider
d. Authorised Energy Retailer means a retailer authorised by the Australian Energy Regulator to sell energy (electricity or gas) to a person for premises
e. Department means the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment who is the EAPA Provider responsible for deciding Applications
f. EAPA or EAPA Scheme means the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme
g. EAPA Provider means an organisation that is approved to issue EAPA Vouchers under the EAPA Scheme
h. EAPA Voucher means a credit issued to an energy account under the EAPA Scheme
i. Eligibility Criteria is defined in clause 2 of these Terms and Conditions.
These Terms and Conditions apply to Applicants applying for an EAPA Voucher. By applying you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
2. Eligibility Criteria
2.1 You confirm that you meet all of the following Eligibility Criteria for assistance under the EAPA Scheme:
a. In relation to the energy account for which you are seeking EAPA Voucher/s under the EAPA Scheme:
i. you are the primary energy account holder (i.e. the energy account is in your name solely or jointly, and your name is on the energy bill for the account) with an authorised energy retailer;
ii. the energy account is for a NSW residential premises and on a residential or rural tariff (i.e. you are not accessing energy through an embedded network, e.g. some strata plans, retirement villages and residential parks);
iii. the energy account’s service address is your primary place of residence; and
iv. the energy account is for the supply of residential electricity or natural gas, and not for the supply of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottles.
v. the energy account has not already been paid in full, as EAPA vouchers cannot be used to place an energy account into credit.
vi. the energy account is not a business account
vii. the energy account is not closed and/or a final bill has not been issued, as EAPA vouchers cannot be applied to a closed account.
b. You are currently experiencing financial hardship (you do not have enough income to meet basic needs of food, housing, energy supply and health) and can:
i. demonstrate you are going without basic needs in order to pay an energy bill; or
ii. do not have enough money to pay your energy bill and as a result may face disconnection, or have been disconnected.
2.2 You agree that you will notify the Department as soon as possible if any of your circumstances change which may affect your ability to meet the Eligibility Criteria.
3. Appointing an Authorised Person
3.1 You can appoint a person to act for you (‘the Authorised Person’) in relation to your application and assessment for assistance under the EAPA Scheme by completing the Authority to Act form.
3.2 When you authorise a person to act on your behalf, the Agency and the Department may:
a. request information about you from the Authorised Person
b. provide information about you to the Authorised Person
c. deal with the Authorised Person as if it was dealing with You
d. still contact you if required.
3.3 The same obligations and responsibilities apply to you in relation to information provided by the Authorised Person to support your application.
3.4 Appointing the Authorised Person does not prevent you from dealing with the Agency or the Department concerning your EAPA Application.
3.5 The Authorised Person may be asked to provide evidence that they are acting on your behalf.
4. Providing false or misleading information
4.1 You are responsible for all information you provide in your Application and assessment and otherwise to the Agency and the Department.
4.2 You acknowledge that you understand that it is an offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to provide false, misleading or fraudulent information to a public authority.
4.3 If you provide false, misleading or fraudulent information to the Agency or Department in your Application or otherwise, the Department may take any or all of the following actions:
a. refuse to deal with your current Application;
b. refuse to deal with any future Application that you make; and
c. advise any relevant public authority.
5. Assessment of your application and providing further information to the Department
5.1 You acknowledge that you understand that the Department will assess your Application in accordance with the Eligibility Criteria and these Terms and Conditions.
5.2 The Department, solely at its discretion, will make a decision for your Application in accordance with clause 5.1 of these Terms and Conditions.
5.3 The Department may at any time require you to provide any of the following:
a. information to support your application, including to verify your identity;
b. information or evidence to demonstrate you meet the Eligibility Criteria;
c. a full copy of your most recent energy (gas or electricity) bill, which includes:
i. First and last name (your account and bill must be in your name)
ii. Energy retailer’s name
iii. Energy account number
iv. National Meter Identifier (NMI) number for electricity bills, or
v. Delivery Point Identifier (DPI) and Meter Installation Registration Number (MIRN) for gas bills
d. details or evidence of any hardship circumstances or crisis relevant to the application
e. information or evidence to allow the Department to assess your application in accordance with these Terms and Conditions, e.g. termination notice or medical expenses;
f. information or evidence for the Department to assess if you have provided false, misleading or fraudulent information; and
g. information or evidence to allow the Department to consider if you have received assistance under the EAPA Scheme in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
5.4 If you do not provide information or evidence requested in accordance with clause 5.3, the Department may refuse to deal with your Application.
5.5 The Agency or the Department may disclose any of the information you provide to a relevant third party such as your Authorised Energy Retailer, the EAPA Scheme or the Federal Government's Services Australia to verify your energy bill information or financial crisis for the purpose of processing your application.
5.6 Any information you provide with your application or that is provided on your behalf by the Authorised Person, may be audited by the Department.
5.7 EAPA vouchers are sent electronically to your energy retailer and used to credit your home electricity or gas account. EAPA vouchers can't be used to put your energy account into credit or if your account has already been paid.
6. Closure, suspension or variation of the EAPA Scheme
6.1 The Department reserves the right to, at any time, unilaterally do any of the following:
i. these Terms and Conditions; or
ii. the process for making an Application;
temporarily stop accepting and processing new and/or current Applications; or
b. permanently stop accepting and processing new and/or current Applications.
6.2 Any variation, suspension or closure made under clause 6.1 will be notified on the Agency website.
6.3 The NSW Government also reserves the right to, at any time, permanently suspend or cancel the EAPA Scheme.
7.1 The Agency is in no way responsible or accountable for any decisions in relation to the EAPA Scheme or assessment of your EAPA Application made by our partner agency, the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment, at any time.
7.2 No rights under these Terms and Conditions will be waived except by notice in writing signed by both You and the Department.
7.3 The EAPA Scheme, these Terms and Conditions and all related documents are governed by the laws of the State of NSW.
7.4 Where the Department has issued a notice to the email address provided in an Application, the notification will be deemed to have been received by You immediately upon receipt of electronic transmission confirmation.
7.5 Any payments made to You under the EAPA Scheme may be audited.