If you are worried about paying your energy bill, call your energy company.
Energy companies must follow new rules to help people manage the cost of their bills. The new rules make sure everyone is treated fairly, based on the type of payment difficulty you have.
1. If you owe money from your old bills, you have the right to:
- a payment plan that pays off the money you owe in equal amounts over two years
- advice from your energy company on how to lower your energy costs.
2. If you owe money on your old bills and cannot afford the cost of your next bills, you have the right to:
- get a six-month freeze on paying off the money you owe (you can apply for the Utility Relief Grant to help pay off debts)
- set your own payment plan amount to what you can afford
- get support from your energy company to lower your costs to an amount you can afford.
So, if you have trouble paying your energy bill, call your energy company.
Check out our video on what to say and what to expect.
3. Make sure all eligible concessions are registered to your account.
It’s a good idea to give your energy company your concession card details whenever you speak to them so that they can ensure you’re getting all of your concessions.
4. Know your rights around disconnection.
You cannot be disconnected if you:
- owe less than $300 on your energy bill
- are making payments on your payment plan – it’s ok if you occasionally miss a payment, pay a bit late or are unable to pay the full amount – just call your energy company to let them know
- have applied for a Utility Relief Grant to pay up to $1,300 of unpaid electricity and gas bills (call your energy company to apply).
The new rules for energy companies in Victoria mean that disconnection for non-payment of a bill only happens when everything else has been tried.
Your energy company will always try and contact you before disconnecting your home.
If you get a disconnection message, it is very important to call the energy company so you can set up a new payment plan and keep the power on at your home.