New Energy Rights to Help Customers from 1 Jan 2019

From 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 has created some useful resources including a new videofactsheet and webpage.
The key change is that the customer’s debt now triggers the different types of assistance available.
Check out the below information to see the difference.

Less than $55 owing on an energy account

Standard Assistance

  • Payment plan - equal payments over a specified period.
  • Payment plan - payments over different periods.
  • Extending the due date for a bill for at least one billing period in any 12-month period.
  • Paying for energy use in advance.

More than $55 owing on an energy account

Tailored Assistance  – can pay for usage

  • Payment plan to repay arrears within 2 years.
  • Extension to repay the arrears over more than  2 years is a possibility.
  • Advice about payment options to help repay.
  • Advice about future cost of energy usage and how to lower.
  • Advice about government/non-government assistance.

Tailored Assistance  – can't pay for usage

  • Initial 6-month hold (minimum) of arrears – with reduced payment plan.
  • Practical assistance to reduce energy costs:
    - appropriate tariff
    - assistance to reduce usage
    - information to help customer assess their progress.
  • Advice about future cost of energy usage and how to lower.​
  • Advice about government/non-government assistance.

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: