In the midst of Australia’s bushfire emergency, some of the country’s biggest energy companies have pledged financial support to the communities impacted at a time when thoughts are on much more important things than power bills.
If you’re a customer experiencing hardship due to the recent bushfires, or you’re a volunteer firefighter, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance from your energy provider. Here are the details we have to date. If your energy provider isn’t listed, it might be worth checking directly with them.
AGL is offering a $150 bill credit per customer for volunteer firefighters on electricity and gas bills. Recently acquired telco and subsidiary of AGL, Southern Phone, is also providing some welcome relief by wiping all usage and fee charges for fire-affected customers, firefighters and SES volunteers.
Additionally, AGL has donated $200,000 to assist communities in the Gippsland region devastated by the bushfires. Support for customers is available on 13 12 45 and 1300 001 545.
Southern Phone Company have many people and customers impacted by the bush fire disaster. To help provide relief, they will be automatically waiving services charges in January, for fire-affected customers, firefighters and SES volunteers.
— AGL Energy (@aglenergy) January 9, 2020
EnergyAustralia is supporting customers by freezing the accounts of around 100,000 residential and small business energy customers in fire-affected communities.
The retailer has also made a $125,000 donation to emergency support agencies and charities in Gippsland, Victoria and Lithgow, New South Wales, including Foodbank Victoria. You can get specialist support from EnergyAustralia on 1800 120 084.
1/2 If you’ve been impacted by recent bushfires, please know that we’ve put a temporary freeze on bills for our residential & small business customers.
You don’t have to do anything. We’ve applied these measures automatically. pic.twitter.com/Wxi18FBkNA
— EnergyAustralia (@EnergyAustralia) January 2, 2020
Power giant Origin Energy has also thrown its weight behind those affected by the bushfire disaster, donating $300,000 to the Australian Red Cross as well as state-based rural fire services.
According to a media statement, Origin will also be offering customers in bushfire and drought-affected areas “short and long-term assistance”. Contact Origin on 13 24 61 or visit their website for further information on services provided.
Other energy providers
Alinta Energy has paused all power bills and debt collection notices for customers in affected areas since November 2019. Eligible volunteer firefighters can also receive a $200 credit added to their Alinta Energy account. Call 13 37 02 or visit the Alinta Energy website for more details.
Energy Locals has wiped electricity costs at the time of the bushfires for customers who are yet to receive their next bill. The retailer is offering half price membership to affected customers in their new homes, as well as volunteer firefighters. For all new customers joining between now and the end of March, Energy Locals will donate $50 to relief efforts for each customer. Contact Energy Locals on 1300 693 637 for more details.
Powershop is putting all bills on hold until further notice for its customers currently affected by bushfires, while SES and volunteer firefighters will receive $100 off their electricity accounts. In addition, Powershop has made a $25,000 donation to the Australian Red Cross as well as a $25,000 donation to WWF bushfire appeals. Powershop advises impacted customers to contact them on 1800 462 668 or through any of their social media channels.
Red Energy is providing existing customers who are volunteer firefighters or people living in fire-affected areas (including businesses) with a $200 bill credit in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA. The retailer urges their customers impacted by this disaster to contact them on 131 806 in order to have their bill credit applied.
Lumo Energy is offering the same level of financial assistance to their customers as Red Energy noted above, however this is limited to those affected in Victoria and South Australia where the retailer operates. For more information on getting the bill credit applied immediately, please call 1300 714 563.
It’s important to keep in mind that the above information is not an exhaustive list of help available, which is why it’s best to contact your energy retailer directly if you’re experiencing hardship due to the bushfires. Here are some further helpful guides:
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