Vic $250 power bonus opens amid cost rises

Victoria Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio
Victorian Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio urges families to apply for a one-off $250 power bonus. -AAP Image

Victorians can bank $250 if they shop around for a better energy deal, as the state's default offer rises amid rising expenses and inflation.

From Friday, the one-off payment will open to all Victorian households who compare their energy deal through the Victorian Energy Compare website under an expanded state government program.

The new payment, announced as part of Victoria's pre-election state budget in May, will be available to any household with an energy bill, and people won't need to change providers to be eligible.

Nearly 400,000 concession-card holders who have claimed the $250 payment over the past financial year can immediately re-apply.

The government says seven out of 10 past users of the comparison website saved an average of $330 a year by switching energy offers.

Victoria has about 2.5 million households and the program is budgeted for one million to apply.

Several Victorian government handouts have been beset by website crashes in recent years, but Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio is confident the technology will hold up.

"The team at DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) have been working very feverishly to ensure we've got the systems to be able to meet all of our needs," Ms  D'Ambrosio said.

She reminded Victorians the payment is available for 12 months, providing ample time for people to apply.

It comes on the same day the Victorian Default Offer rises by about five per cent, with the state energy regulator estimating the change will increase annual bills by $61 for households and $270 for small businesses on it.