Energy - Payment Difficulty Framework

1 January 2019 energy customers have new rights that help them to pay their energy bills.
To explain what the changes mean the Energy and Water Ombudsman created some useful resources including a new video, factsheet and webpage.
The key change is that the customer’s debt now triggers the different types of assistance available.
How your energy company should help

By law, energy companies have to offer help. The level of help offered is based on your debt.

If you have less than $55 owing and you want help to manage your account, your company must offer you three of the following payment options:

  • give you more time to pay the bill
  • work out a plan to pay overtime in instalments you can afford (with regular instalments)
  • work out a plan to pay overtime in instalments you can afford (with irregular instalments)
  • allow you to pay in advance.

If you have more than $55 owing, the company must offer:

  • a payment plan to pay for usage and repay arrears within two years
  • a payment plan where your arrears are on hold for minimum six months, while you make reduced payments (less than what you use at the property) and try to reduce your energy use.

The company must also:

  • check that you’re receiving government concessions and grants you’re entitled to
  • provide you with practical information about how to reduce the energy you use
  • talk to you about option to help you repay your arrears
  • review your account and tariff



These are the minimum requirements for energy retailers – so moving forward your clients should be receiving this help.
If you contact an energy company on your clients behalf and are not happy with the assistance provided, contact EWOV for more help. You can do this by:

faxing: 1800 500 549