GAS, ELECTRICITY, WATER

ESSENTIAL SERVICES

DISCONNECTION AND OTHER MATTERS

GAS, ELECTRICITY, WATER

ESSENTIAL SERVICES

DISCONNECTION AND OTHER MATTERS

Has your electricity, gas or water been disconnected or they are planning to disconnect or restrict you soon?

Has your electricity, gas or water been disconnected or they are planning to disconnect or restrict you soon?

Call the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV)
on 1800 500 509 and tell them about the disconnection

Almost half of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who call the National Debt Helpline call regarding utility debts, e.g. electricity, gas, water or phone/ data bills

EWOV is a free and independent body that resolves disputes between people and their energy and water companies. They will make sure that energy and water companies are being fair to you.
EWOV will arrange for you to be reconnected (often this will happen on the same day) or they will let the company know not to disconnect you.

DEBORAH'S STORY

Deborah is a full-time carer for her adult daughter who has a chronic illness. Deborah is on Centrelink and has difficulty keeping up with rent and bills because her income is so low.

She has a payment plan with her electricity provider through Centrepay and hasn’t missed a payment. Deborah was shocked when her electricity was recently disconnected out of the blue. When she contacted the electricity company to find out why, she was told they wouldn’t reconnect her unless she made an upfront payment of over $500 which she couldn’t afford.

Deborah’s daughter has asthma and Deborah needs a pump to keep the air quality at their home safe. Without electricity keeping the pump going, the air quality can be dangerous for her daughter.

Deborah was feeling overwhelmed and decided to call a financial counsellor on the National Debt Helpline who told her that electricity companies need to help people who are struggling to make ends meet. The financial counsellor connected Deborah to the Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWOV) who opened an investigation and made sure the power was put back on within hours.

Put a plan in place with your energy company

1. Want to manage your energy bills before they get out of control?

If you have less than $55 owing on your bill, call your energy company and set up:

  • an extension of the due date
  • a payment plan – with regular/ irregular instalments
  • payment before the bill is due

2. Have some outstanding debt on your energy bills?

Contact your energy company straight away and ask for a payment plan

Be honest about what you can regularly afford to pay on your debt

If you have a payment plan you can’t be disconnected or get contacted by a debt collector while you’re paying

3. If you have $55 or more owing on your bill, the following payment options become available to you:

  • you can repay the amount owed over 2 years (while also paying for usage)
  • the amount owed can be put on hold for at least six months while you pay less than you use (while trying to lower the energy used at the property)

4. If you have $55 or more owing on your bill, your energy company should also tell you about the following help:

  • government grants and concessions
  • potential reviews of your contract price to reduce ongoing costs
  • practical advice to reduce energy usage

5. Concessions can reduce your bills

You must give your concession card details to your energy company for it to be applied and re-contact them when your card expires

No one should have their electricity, gas or water disconnected or restricted because they cannot pay

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Was this Helpful ?
  • Yes   No