In March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, the AER released a Statement of Expectations of energy businesses: Protecting customers and the energy market during COVID-19. The Statement of Expectations will cease on 30 June 2021, however there is still ongoing support available under the National Energy Retail Law for customers experiencing financial difficulty. The AER may provide extra protections if further stay-at-home orders are announced for NSW, Tasmania, ACT, Queensland and South Australia.
If you are worried about paying your bill, we encourage you to call your retailer and ask about the assistance available, like a payment plan or hardship program to help you stay connected.
Consumers can also shop around for a better energy deal through the AER’s Energy Made Easy website, which offers a free energy price comparison service for households and small businesses.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, call your energy provider for help as soon as possible. They can offer a range of assistance, including payment extensions, payment plans, hardship programs, and information about concessions, rebates and other support.
Greater Sydney residential and small business customers
Support is available for those experiencing financial stress as a result of the NSW COVID-19 restrictions, in line with the AER’s standby Statement of Expectations announced on 29 June. Call your retailer and ask about the help available to you. Extra supports are now available, including protection from disconnection and debt collection, and access to payment plans and hardship programs. We expect energy businesses to provide additional protections for the duration of the stay-at-home orders, plus an additional two weeks after this.
State and Territory support
Additional assistance in response to COVID-19 may vary by state. For state-specific information, visit the relevant Energy Ombudsman schemes and state government COVID-19 support pages in your state/territory:
ACT Government COVID-19 economic survival package for families and households
Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW COVID-19 support and the State government financial support for households and individuals
Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland COVID-19 support and the State government household utility assistance package
- South Australia
Energy and Water Ombudsman SA COVID-19 support
Tasmanian Government COVID-19 support
Can't pay your bill?
Can’t pay your bill? Contact your local energy company for help.
If you can’t pay your electricity or gas bill, contact the company that sends you a bill and ask them for help.
Your energy company has translation services available for you. You can find the contact details on your bill. Encourage your family and friends who need help to call their energy company too.