I am a home owner

Home owner

Residential property makes up 90% of properties in NSW for FESL purposes.

If you own your home (or a property you rent out) and insure the building and contents you will already be paying the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) via your insurance premiums. If you rent your home click here.

From 1 July 2017, the Government will abolish the current insurance-based Emergency Services Levy and replace it with the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) paid by property owners alongside council rates. 

The FESL will be calculated according to two factors depending on the classification of property as residential, farmland, industrial, commercial, vacant or public benefit:

  1. A fixed charge; and
  2. A variable charge based on unimproved land value  as determined by the NSW Valuer General (visit the 'How much will the FESL cost?' section in our FAQs for a definition of unimproved land value).

The exact levy rates are still being determined and will not be published until 30 April 2017 when property values for July 2016 and the budget for the emergency services agencies for 2017-18 are known.

The cost of an average residential property insurance policy is expected to be around $233 lower than would otherwise be the case as a result of the removal of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL). This will help make insurance more affordable for more people.

The reform will mean the obligation of funding NSW's fire and emergency services will no longer fall only on those with property insurance, but all property owners. It is estimated that the average fully-insured residential property owner will save around $47 per year.

Land meets the requirements for classification as Residential Land for purposes of the FESL if it is classified by a council as residential for purposes of calculating your council rates.

What about vacant residential land?

Vacant residential land will receive a discount. Owners or lessees will be required to make an application to their councils for a sub-classification of ‘vacant’.