Energy disconnection and water restriction

Issue

Energy disconnection and water restriction

If you don’t pay your bills, your energy company can disconnect your electricity or gas. Your water company can’t cut your water off completely, but it can restrict it so that you get less water.

The rules about disconnection and restriction

Disconnection and restriction are serious, so there are rules companies must follow. Before disconnecting or restricting your supply, they must send you a bill, a reminder notice and a warning. If you can’t pay what you owe, they have to consider what you can afford to pay.

There are also rules about when your energy can be disconnected or your water restricted. For example, your energy can’t be disconnected on a Friday, on the weekend or on public holidays. And your company can’t disconnect or restrict you if you have a complaint open with EWOV.

If your company disconnects or restricts your supply without following these rules, they may have to pay you a Wrongful Disconnection Payment (WDP) for energy or a Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment for water.

What to do if your energy is disconnected or your water is restricted

If your company tells you it is going to disconnect or restrict your supply, or if it already has, call them straight away. Ask what you have to do to avoid disconnection or restriction or to get reconnected.

The company will probably 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. Ask the company if it can help you through its hardship program.

If you can’t work something out, contact EWOV. While we’re investigating, we’ll ask your company not to disconnect or restrict your supply, or to reconnect it if this has already happened. We will also check whether your company followed the rules and if you are eligible for a WDP or GSL.

Read, download and print: simple fact sheets about energy disconnection and water restriction

Fact Sheet 7

Energy and water payment difficulties

Energy disconnection and water restriction, Trouble paying a bill, High bills
Information about what you should do if you can't pay an electricity, gas or water bill, and the assistance that may be available to you
Fact Sheet 8

Disconnection and restriction for debt

Energy disconnection and water restriction, Trouble paying a bill
Helping residential customers understand their rights and responsibilities and the assistance which may be available to them

How we've helped others: case studies about energy disconnection and water restriction

Case study

Family violence and financial hardship leads to disconnection (March 2017)

Energy disconnection and water restriction, Trouble paying a bill
Case study

Mr M’s water was restricted after receiving bills in someone else’s name (March 2017)

Energy disconnection and water restriction, High bills, Billing mistakes

Hot topic articles about energy disconnection and water restriction

Hot topic

Credit repair agents and credit defaults (March 2017)

Getting connected and changing energy company, Energy disconnection and water restriction, Trouble paying a bill, Debt collection and credit default listings
A credit default on your personal credit file can limit your ability to access credit and apply for a loan. It can also be a barrier when signing up for an electricity or gas account with some retailers. So is it worth using a Credit Repair Agent?
Hot topic

Life support appliance reliant customers (February 2016)

Energy disconnection and water restriction, Outages, brownouts and power surges
Customers reliant on life support should contact their energy retailer and local electricity distributor to advise them of this. This way, they can work with the customer to provide advice and information about what to do in the event of a planned or unplanned power outage.