Stronger affordability protections now available

2 October 2019

Today we welcomed the stronger protections that are now available to households having trouble paying their energy bills. 

The Australian Energy Regulator has introduced an enforceable Customer Hardship Policy Guideline, that helps vulnerable customers experiencing payment difficulties.

The Guideline requires energy retailers to provide consistent minimum standards of assistance, ensure hardship programs are easily accessible and put processes in place to identify customers who may need help.

Customers participating in a hardship program will get access to different payment options, help finding a better energy plan, tips on energy efficiency, and information about government concessions, relief schemes, energy rebates and financial counselling services.

All energy providers have a policy that tells you how they can assist you if you are having trouble paying your energy bills. You can find it on their website or ask them to send you a copy. 

It's important to note that if you're in an affordability or hardship program and meetings its conditions your energy provider cannot disconnect you. 

For more information, visit the AER website. You can also read our submission to the draft guideline from March 2019.

Infographic explaining a summary of the Australian Energy regulator Customer Hardship Policy Guideline