Media Contact
Carl Kitchen 0401 691 342
Mar 27 2020

Assistance available for energy customers

Following the release of the Statement of Expectations from the market regulator the Australian Energy Council (AEC) reconfirmed its members’ commitment to assist customers experiencing financial distress.

The AEC has also supported the Essential Services Commission of Victoria’s campaign to inform customers across the state about the assistance energy retailers can provide.

The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said energy retailers are doing everything they can to help customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognise the critical importance of maintaining energy connections and will make sure help is available for impacted customers.

“Energy retailers are focused on providing support through measures like payment plans and ensuring there are no barriers to entering hardship programs. They will also ensure long term assistance is readily available on request.

“There will be no disconnections for affected customers receiving hardship assistance if they are unable to afford their energy bills.

“For customers in the hardship program, AEC members have committed to pausing any external debt collection and bankruptcy proceedings, and will not charge any late fees if these customers cannot pay on time.

“They will also help customers to access available grants and concessions."

Ms McNamara also welcomed the AER’s recognition that the viability of energy businesses must be protected. Retailers often cannot control costs from other parts of the energy supply chain, such as wholesale power prices and distribution costs, that are charged to customers.

“For that reason over the coming months a whole of sector response is vital to achieve the best outcomes for customers. We look forward to working with the AER and other market bodies, governments and stakeholders on the best ways to share the risks and costs across the sector and work through these expectations.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 23 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Related News

News

Statement on Default Price Decisions 

The Australian Energy Regulator and Essential Service Commission's draft decisions on regulated power prices for 2024-2025 should act as an important reminder for households and businesses to shop around for better electricity deals, according to the peak body for electricity retailers.

Mar 19 2024
News

AEMO Plan Identifies Dispatchable Plant Deficit

The latest assessment of our energy system points to the urgency of getting sufficient firming capacity in place to back up the transformational injection of renewables into our grid, according to the peak body for energy retailers and generators, the Australian Energy Council.

Dec 15 2023
News

Electricity Sector Leads Decarbonisation Efforts

The electricity sector continues to do the heavy lifting in efforts to reduce Australia's carbon emissions and meet its climate targets, according to the peak body for electricity generators, the Australian Energy Council.

Nov 30 2023
GET IN TOUCH
Do you have a question or comment for AEC?

Send an email with your question or comment, and include your name and a short message and we'll get back to you shortly.

Call Us
+61 (3) 9205 3100