There are many ways that Victorian electricity, gas and water companies can help customers, including:
- setting up an affordable payment plan to help break bills into smaller payments
- sharing energy and water efficiency information to help lower usage
- providing assistance with applying for the Victorian Government’s Utility Relief Grant Scheme (URGS) (if your application is approved, this provides up to $650 each for electricity, gas and water)
- putting you on a cheaper energy plan
- making sure concessions are applied to your account
- referring you to support agencies including financial counselling.
It’s important to remember that if you transfer your energy account/s to a new company, your previous company no longer needs to offer you payment or hardship assistance. If your final bills are not paid on time, they could be sent to a debt collection company or result in a credit default being listed.
If your company does not offer you hardship or payment assistance, you can contact us for assistance.
Government concessions and grants
- The Winter Gas Concession is a 17.5% discount on gas use between 1 May and 31 October each year. The discount does not apply to the first $62.40 of the six-month winter bill period.
- The Annual Electricity Concession is a 17.5% discount on electricity use all year round. The discount does not apply to the first $171.60 of the annual bill.
If you receive either of the above concessions and your annual electricity bills total more than $2,725 or winter gas bills are more than $1,587, you must contact your company to ask for the Excess Energy Concession application in order to continue receiving the 17.5% discount.
If you have missed concessions on your previous bills you can ask your company to backdate the concessions. The Victorian Government’s Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) allows for concessions to be backdated up to 12 months.
There are many other discounts available for customers with approved concession and pension cards. You can visit the DFFH website to find out more about concessions and grants or call the DFFH Concessions Unit on 1800 658 521. We also have a fact sheet with more information.
- To compare electricity and gas plans and see if there’s a better option for you, visit the Victorian Government’s Victorian Energy Compare website.
- For energy efficiency information, including simple and cheap tips and tricks to reduce your bills, visit the Sustainability Victoria and Victorian Energy Saver websites.
Financial counselling services
There are many organisations that offer free and confidential financial counselling. You can ring the National Debt Hotline for free on 1800 007 007 to speak with a financial counsellor.
Visit our Trouble paying a bill page for more information.