- COVID-19 Support
Helping South Australians
Energy and Water Ombudsman SA acknowledges the significant impact on the community of COVID-19 across South Australia and our deepest sympathies are with all in our global community at this time.
In terms of energy and water supply, community members may have concerns about:
- their current or future capacity to pay their bills, including energy and water
- a need to pause current arrangements to allow them to manage other immediate needs
- entering into a payment plan arrangement
- a need to gain an extension on a bill due date
- access to an Emergency Energy Payment Scheme
- access to a hardship program.
If you have been impacted by the current situation, we strongly encourage contact with your supplier to discuss what options are available to suit your circumstances. If you have been unable to resolve the matter with your energy or water supplier, please advise one of our staff members immediately and we will assist with resolution of your complaint. We are here to help. Customers can contact us via Freecall on 1800 665 565, online by clicking 'Live Chat' on the right of this web page, or by texting us on 0488 854 555.
You can access information on our website under Consumer resources and Resolving complaints. With more people working from home, your energy usage may increase. It is important to look at ways you can save energy at home.
Energy supplier assistance
If you are having trouble paying a bill, a range of support measures are available. Some support measures may differ between suppliers, and include payment plans and assistance with accessing concessions.
The Australian Energy Regulator has released ten principles which they expect energy providers to follow during this time. These principles relate to:
- providing information about concessions, rebates and other support
- offering a payment plan that is based on a customer's capacity to pay with a no payment window if required
- not disconnecting anyone who is in contact with their retailer
- immediately reconnecting anyone who may be disconnected once they make contact and waiving any associated fees
- not referring customers to debt collection agencies for recovery actions or credit default listing
Read more and download the full statement here.
The Australian Energy Council have also listed a range of support measures that their members have committed to.
SA Power Networks and others have announced a suite of measures to provide support to small business and residential customers enduring hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further information on energy sector support:
Energy distributors are also working hard to ensure supply during this time. For more information on their approach, visit the SA Power Networks website.
Water supplier assistance
Water suppliers may also offer payment extensions and other assistance to people whose incomes have been impacted by COVID-19. Contact the relevant supplier directly to discuss how they can help.
Licensed water, sewerage, LPG and off-grid electricity service suppliers
The Essential Services Commission of South Australia has issued guidance for these suppliers. The Commission notes that service providers should consider additional customer support options at this time.
Read the full statement here.
A wide range of other supports are available, including those listed on the following sites:
- Australian Government support for households
- Government support for businesses
- Crisis helplines
- Essential services support
- Information about financial counselling
- Find a financial counsellor
- UnitingCare organisations delivering government funded services
- Food relief
- Uniting Communities COVID-19 response
- Uniting Communities financial services
- Uniting Care Wesley Bowden Emergency Assistance
- Program to help people understand energy and water bills
- Uniting Care Wesley Bowden financial difficulty support
- Residential Relief Grant Scheme
- Tenancies advice