Australians struggling to pay winter power bills will be given a helping hand, with energy giants told to keep supporting customers through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian Energy Regulator has asked retailers to continue backing households and small businesses until at least the end of October.
The regulators chairwoman, Clare Savage, says customers in financial stress should be given a payment plan.
“Even if they cant afford to pay anything right now,” Savage said on July 28.
“And any customer who is in contact with their retailer should not be disconnected.
“If you are struggling to pay your energy bill, help is available. Dont ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Contact your retailer and agree a payment plan that you feel you can afford.”
Savage also warned customers a bill deferral isnt a waiver, and the regulator doesnt want to see people take on unnecessary debts.
“We understand for a whole range of reasons it can be more difficult for some customers to get in touch,” she said.
“Retailers should make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch and with proactive strategies to engage with their customers.”
Retailers have been asked to: