You have the right to get help when you're struggling to pay your energy bill
Title: You have the right to get help when you’re struggling to pay your energy bill
Duration: 1 minute 47 seconds
Narration: Female voiceover
[Voiceover]: It’s completely normal to worry about paying bills. Especially high energy bills.
[Description]: An animation of an elderly man comes on the screen. He has a bald head, and we see some sweat dripping down his forehead.
[Voiceover]: But did you know that every Victorian now has the right to get help from their energy company if they can’t pay their bills? Yes, that’s right. New rules are in place to make sure every Victorian is treated fairly and can manage the cost of energy.
[Description]: We zoom out and see he is doing aerobics exercises in front of the TV. He is dressed in exercise clothes and smiling.
[Voiceover]: Call your energy company as soon as you can to get the help you need. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling to pay one bill or many. When you call your energy company, they must work out how much it regularly costs to provide energy to your home.
[Description]: We see an animation of a woman with a hijab on the sofa. She is reading a book. She picks up a phone and dials a number. She puts the phone to her ear. A speech bubble comes on next to her with a graph.
[Voiceover]: If you cannot afford this amount, ask to be put on a payment plan you can afford. Your energy company must accept this. If you owe money from previous bills, your energy company will freeze payment towards this for six months. While these payments are frozen, your energy company must help you reduce your energy costs down to a level you can afford. How?
[Description]: We see an animation of a man sitting at a desk. Dollar signs float to his left and right. He picks up a glass of water with a dollar sign on it and drinks from it. We cut to a computer screen. On the screen is a woman with a headphone on. To the top right-hand side of the computer screen is another lady. They are in a video call.
[Voiceover]: One, your company will put you on the cheapest energy plan.
[Description]: An animation of an energy bill comes on the screen.
[Voiceover]: Two, they’ll provide tips to help you use less energy around the house.
[Description]: The screen splits into four sections. In the top left is an animation of a lady sitting next to a heater. In the top right corner, a man closes a door. In the bottom left, a man puts a draft stopper under the door. In the bottom right corner, a lady sits next to a fireplace with no fire.
[Voiceover]: Three, they’ll check to make sure you’re getting all your concessions. They’ll also see if you can get a government grant to help pay your debt.
[Description]: We see an animation of a computer screen with a website of concession cards.
[Voiceover]: If your company won’t help, call the free energy ombudsman service on 1800 500 509. They will resolve any disputes.
[Description]: We see an animation of the elderly man from earlier. He is smiling and pointing to a phone number on top of the screen.
[Voiceover]: You have the right to affordable energy so make sure you ask your energy company for help.
[Description]: We see an animation of the elderly man. He is sitting on the sofa with his hands behind his head relaxing.
[Voiceover]: For more tips on taking control, check out the energy info hub website, or just pick up the phone and take charge of your energy bills today.
[Description]: A yellow screen comes on and the following words comes on the screen: energy info hub.org.au.
Original content developed by the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) with support from AusNet Services.