With households and businesses continuing to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Victoria, the Australian Energy Council wants the community to know help is available.
Energy retailers have a range of measures in place to assist customers experiencing payment difficulties.
The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said: “For those customers doing it tough now and over the coming months - your energy retailer is there to support you.
“With 5 million Victorians returning to lockdown and spending more time at home this winter, household gas and electricity consumption looks set to rise.
“Keeping safe and warm at this time of year is critical and energy retailers will support those impacted by COVID-19,” said Ms McNamara.
Each retailer has assistance measures available, and while they might differ between retailers, they include:
“For impacted residential customers who cannot pay their bills as they fall due, retailers will also ensure there are no barriers to entering hardship programs. This means that long-term assistance is available on request.
“If you are worried about your bill contact your retailer as soon as possible. You won’t be disconnected if you can’t afford to pay, but a conversation with your retailer will help to understand your options.”
The AEC is flagging some easy ways to help reduce energy use over the next six weeks of lockdown.
“We know that winter can lead to higher than expected energy use for lots of Victorian households and there are a number of simple measures that, while they might seem insignificant, can actually make a real difference,” Ms McNamara said.
About the Australian Energy Council
The Council represents 22 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.
The peak body for energy retailers, the Australian Energy Council, energy companies and a broad range of consumer advocates have undertaken a unique collaboration to develop Best Practice for Energy Retailer Assistance .
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