KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS TO STAY CONNECTED

Households facing economic hardship because of coronavirus are protected from having their gas or electricity disconnected, thanks to reforms put in place by the Victorian Government.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said that under these reforms, which started in 2019, energy retailers must provide assistance to any household that contacts them because they are having trouble paying their bills.

The assistance could include a payment plan, putting account payments on hold while customers work towards paying for their usage, or extending bill due dates.

Anyone receiving such assistance can’t be disconnected while they are participating in the hardship plan – so it’s vital that people reach out to their retailers if they are struggling to pay their bills.
While we combat this health crisis, we know that for many people and businesses across the Macedon Ranges and Hepburn region – it’s an economic crisis as well.

That’s why the Victorian Government also expects energy retailers to keep business customers under financial stress connected if they have raised their situation with their provider and to work with them on a manageable payment plan.

If businesses have temporarily ceased operations, the Government also expects retailers to waive disconnection and reconnection fees.|

The Victorian Energy Compare website is also still available – making it quicker and easier for Victorians to save money on their power bills.

Not only can local families slash their bills by using Victorian Energy Compare, they can still claim the $50 Power Saving Bonus when they compare offers until 30 June 2020.

Families across the Macedon Ranges and Hepburn can also choose the Victorian Default Offer – a regulated fair price they can trust.

For more information, visit energy.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Many families and businesses across our community are doing it tough right now, and that’s why energy retailers should be doing the right thing and helping them get to the other side of this health and economic emergency.”

“It’s vital that people know their rights and reach out to their retailer. No household can be disconnected if they are struggling to pay their bills.”