Confused about energy retailers? Have a dispute with your utility company? Find a list of useful organisations and tools to help you get the most out of your energy and utility providers.
The Commonwealth Government Energy Supplement
The Commonwealth Government Energy Supplement is a fortnightly payment to help with energy costs. You may be eligible if you get an income support payment – such as an age pension – or if you hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
The amount you can receive depends on whether you are single or have a partner. You don’t need to apply for the supplement. It will be added to your regular payments. Read more about the Energy Supplement or call DHS’ Older Australians Helpline on 132 300.
Victorian Energy Compare
Victorian Energy Compare is a free, independent tool that compares energy prices. It uses information you provide about your household and your energy bills to help find the best energy offers for you. You can use it to compare gas, electricity or both. Visit Victorian Energy Compare to get started or call 136 186.
Victorian Default Offer
The Victorian Default Offer (VDO) is a fair electricity price. It has been introduced to stop price-gouging by energy companies. The VDO is independently set by the Electricity Services Commission (ESC) each year. It is available to most households, but not those who are on embedded networks. It may not always be the best offer for your situation – the Victorian Energy Compare tool can help you decide. Visit our page on energy rights for more information on the VDO.
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV)
Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) is a free, independent service that resolves disputes between Victorians and their water and energy suppliers. You can make a complaint by phone, email, fax, in writing or by using EWOV’s online form. Interpreting and accessibility services are available. Read more about the complaints process and the types of complaints you can make on EWOV’s website. You can also call them on 1800 500 509, between 8.30am and 5 pm Monday to Friday.
Utility Relief Schemes
The Utility Relief Grant Scheme and Non-mains Utility Grant Scheme can help you pay for overdue bills. They are available to low-income Victorians experiencing temporary hardship.
The Utility Relief Grant Scheme
The Utility Relief Grant Scheme is available for electricity, gas and water. You can apply for separate grants for each utility. The amount you can receive is based on the amount you owe. It is capped at $650 or six months’ worth of use.
To apply for the grant, phone your electricity, gas or water retailer and ask for an application form. You will need to meet several criteria to be eligible; these are listed here.
Non-mains Utility Grant Scheme
The Utility Grant Scheme (non-mains) can help you with paying for non-mains energy or water bills. This includes things such as:
- liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
- diesel or petrol for a generator
- metered electricity from an embedded network
- heating oil.
The amount you can receive is based on the amount you owe. It is capped at $650 or six months’ worth of use. More information and eligibility criteria can be found online.
To apply for either of the Utility Grant Schemes, call the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521.