Statement of expectations extended to 30 June

The Australian Energy Regulator's Statement of Expectations has been extended to 30 June 2021, possibly for the last time.

When announcing the extension, Australian Energy Regulator Chair Clare Savage said the additional protections can’t last forever and it is likely that this will be the last extension.

"Our focus remains on encouraging both retailers and customers to reach out to each other and agree to a sustainable payment plan based on an individual customer’s capacity to pay and for retailers to provide additional hardship support where appropriate," Ms Savage said.

Queensland’s Energy and Water Ombudsman Jane Pires has welcomed the extension, particularly with COVID-19 still impacting Queensland consumers and small businesses.

“This extension of assistance is much needed, especially now that JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments have been wound back and a large number of customers remain on debt referral arrangements,” Ms Pires said.

“While the key elements of the previous Statement of Expectations remain, the latest extension strongly encourages transferring customers on deferred debt arrangements to sustainable payment plans.”

Ms Pires said while the Statement of Expectations outlines a range of support measures, many of these only apply once the customer contacts their retailer to let them know they are having trouble paying their bill.

“If consumers are worried about paying their bills, the best thing they can do is get in touch with their energy provider as soon as they can to find out about payment plans and extensions, and any rebates or concessions they may be entitled to,” she said.

“If they’re not happy with the outcome or need further support, submit a complaint or call 1800 662 837 for help.”

For more information, view the AER’s updated Statement of Expectations