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Last updated: 22 Nov 2021

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.

What is an energy disconnection or de-energisation?

Your electricity or gas supply is cut off to the property.

How do you stop a disconnection?

  • If you need help paying a bill, call your energy company before you’ve been disconnected to set up a payment plan.
  • Energy companies must tell you about all available help.

What happens if the energy company doesn’t follow the rules?

  • If your energy company has not followed the rules before disconnecting your supply, you may be entitled to a Wrongful Disconnection Payment (WDP).
  • This payment is $500 a day (for disconnections after 1 January 2016) and $250 (for disconnections before 1 January 2016).
  • You need to call your energy company within 14 days of disconnection otherwise the WDP is capped at $3,500.

How do you organise reconnection?

If you’ve already been disconnected call your energy company as soon as possible to organise reconnection. You may need to set up a payment plan/pay some of your outstanding debt for this to occur.

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Call EWOV if you can’t sort out the problem with the company directly

1800 500 509

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Occupier Bills aren’t junk mail!

Contact the company on the letter and explain your situation. If you ignore the bills, you might be chased for debt or have your energy disconnected.

Call EWOV if you can't sort out the problem with the company directly. 1800 500 509

What are the rules before I can be disconnected?

  • You must have received a reminder and disconnection warning notice
  • Have at least $300 owing
  • The company must try and contact you before disconnecting

If this is all done it still can’t disconnect:

  • If you have an open complaint with EWOV
  • Before 8am or after 2pm for a residential customer
  • Before 8am or after 3pm for a business customer
  • On a Friday, weekend, day before or on a public holiday
  • Between 20 December and 31 December
  • If there is registered life support
  • If you have applied for the Utility Relief Grant rebate and a decision has not been made

What is a water restriction?

The water supply at the property is limited.

How do you stop a restriction?

If you need help paying a bill, call your water company before you’ve been restricted to set up a payment plan.

What happens if the water company doesn’t follow the rules?

If your water company has not followed the rules before restricting your supply, you may be entitled to a Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) Payment of $300.

How do you organise de-restriction?

  • If you’ve already been restricted call you water company as soon as possible to organise de-restriction.
  • You may need to set up a payment plan or pay some of your outstanding debt for this to occur.

What are the rules before I can be restricted?

  • You must have received a reminder and disconnection warning notice
  • Have at least $200 owing
  • The company must try and contact you before restricting

If this is all done it still can’t restrict:

  • If you have an open complaint with EWOV
  • On a total fire ban day
  • If it causes a health hazard
  • Before 8am or after 3pm for a residential customer
  • Before 8am or after 3pm for a business customer
  • On a Friday, weekend, day before or on a public holiday
  • If there is registered life support
  • If you have applied for the Utility Relief Grant rebate and a decision has not been made
Phone Icon

Call EWOV if you can’t sort out the problem with the company directly

1800 500 509

There’s lots of help out there for energy and water customers:

  • Call the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing on 1800 658 521 or visit services.dffh.vic.gov.au/concessions-and-benefits to check your eligibility.
  • National Debt Helpline – provides a free, independent and confidential financial counselling service if you need help working out what is affordable for you to pay. 1800 007 007
  • 1800Respect - National family violence telephone counselling 1800 737 732