Know your rights and responsibilities if your company has disconnected or restricted your supply of electricity, gas or water.
If you don’t pay your energy bills, your electricity or gas company can disconnect your supply. That means it will cut off your supply and you won’t have access to electricity or gas.
If you don’t pay your water bills, your water company may take action. It can’t cut your water off completely but it can restrict your supply so that you get less water.
If you don’t pay your LPG company, your deliveries may be stopped.
Watch our video for more information about disconnection and restriction.
Before disconnecting or restricting your supply, your company must send you:
- a bill
- a reminder notice, unless you are on a shortened collection cycle
- a warning that includes EWOV’s contact details.
Your company isn’t allowed to disconnect or restrict you:
- on a Friday, the weekend, a public holiday or the day before a public holiday
- before 8am or after 2pm on a business day (residential) or after 3pm (business) for electricity or gas, or after 3pm on any day for water
- between 20 December and 31 December (electricity and gas only)
- if someone in your household depends on life support equipment (electricity and gas), or if you’re a registered special needs customer (water)
- if water restriction would cause a health hazard
- if you’ve applied for a Utility Relief Grant and you’re waiting on a decision
- if you have started a complaint with us and it’s not yet resolved
- if you owe less than $300 (including GST) for electricity or gas, or less than $200 for water, and have been paying your bills
- if it’s a total fire ban day (water).
If your company disconnects or restricts your supply without following these rules, they may have to pay you a Wrongful Disconnection Payment (electricity or gas) or a Guaranteed Service Level payment (water). There is no payment for LPG or embedded network customers.
If your company tells you it is going to disconnect or restrict your supply, or if it already has, contact it straight away. Ask what you have to do to avoid disconnection or restriction, or to get reconnected.
The company may ask you to pay something. If you can’t pay it, tell them what you can afford and ask to set up an affordable payment plan ensuring you access all your entitlements. Ask the company if it can help you through its hardship program.
We have more information for people who are having trouble paying bills or are in debt with their electricity, gas or water company:
Visit the Trouble paying a bill page for more information if you’re having problems paying what you owe on a bill.
Visit the Debt collection and credit default listing page for more information if your company has started debt collection against you, has sold your debt to a debt collection agency or if you’ve been credit default listed.
Electricity and gas
Your energy company must reconnect your electricity or gas supply on the same day, as long as it’s requested before 3pm. If they get the request after 3pm, they must reconnect it the next business day.
For safety reasons, the mains switch needs to be turned to the ‘off’ position for electricity or a person over the age of 18 needs to be at the property for gas.
Your water company must restore your supply within 24 hours, once it’s aware that the restriction needs to be removed.
Disconnection and restriction for debt This fact sheet will be help you understand your rights and responsibilities and the assistance which may be available to you.
Concessions and grants Do you have a concession card? You may be eligible for concessions on your electricity, gas and water bills.
EWOV and LPG The role of the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV) in handling cases about LPG (also known as bottled gas).
Life support equipment Protections for Victorians with life support equipment.
If you can’t work something out with your company or if you think you’ve been disconnected or restricted in a way that doesn’t follow the rules, contact us.
While we’re investigating your case, we’ll ask your company not to disconnect or restrict your supply, or to reconnect it if that has already happened. We’ll also check whether the company followed the rules and if you are eligible for a Wrongful Disconnection Payment or a Guaranteed Service Level payment.
We can help with most complaints about energy or water issues in Victoria, big or small. Our service is free to Victorian customers.
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Need general information?
If you don’t have a complaint but just want some general information, we call this an enquiry. We may even be able to refer you to another agency.
You can make an enquiry at any time. Call us on 1800 500 509, send us an email or start a live chat.