Support for customers impacted by COVID-19
Updated September 2021
If you're an energy or water customer affected by COVID-19, find out what assistance you might be eligible for:
COVID-19 is having an impact on all areas of our lives. For some people, it will affect their ability to earn a living and pay their bills.
To support you in these uncertain times, we’ve put together some information on assistance available for energy and water customers.
Existing concessions and rebates
You may be eligible for a concession or rebate:
- Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme (HEEAS): a one-off payment to help people who are experiencing a crisis or unforeseen emergency and can’t pay their electricity bill
- electricity and gas rebates: rebates for eligible pensioners and seniors.
Energy provider assistance
All energy providers have existing payment assistance options for people struggling to pay their electricity bills (often known as hardship programs).
If you’re experiencing financial difficulty and having trouble paying a bill, call your electricity or gas company first to discuss how they can help.
The energy industry has responded to COVID-19 with commitments to customers experiencing hardship:
- The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released its Statement of expectations of energy businesses in March 2020 to ease the pressure on energy customers. From July 2021, this has been replaced by a standby Statement of expectations to offer short-term additional protections for households and small businesses impacted by extended stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. The protections apply during a lockdown period and for two weeks after the stay-at-home order ends. Customers are encouraged to contact their provider to discuss payment plans or other supports particularly if they're on deferred debt arrangements or haven't yet contacted their provider.
- The Energy Council responded by reconfirming its commitment to helping energy customers experiencing hardship.
- In October 2020, EWOQ hosted two webinars (one for south east Queensland and one for regional Queensland) in conversation with energy retailers and distributors to discuss how to support consumers affected by COVID-19. View the recordings here.
The Energy Charter has released a list of COVID-19 customer resources (PDF, 187KB) for further resources and support.
Water provider assistance
Water providers should also be able to assist you with payment plans or extensions.
Contact your provider for more information:
Critical works during COVID-19
Critical electricity and gas works are still happening to ensure the lights stay on and gas keeps flowing during the pandemic crisis. This fact sheet by Energy Networks Australia outlines what critical works are, what they mean for customers and why they will continue during this pandemic.
How EWOQ can help
Contact your energy or water provider first if you will have trouble paying your bill or have any other issue.
If you’re unhappy with their response or they can’t help you, contact us to make a complaint:
We can’t discuss complaints in person at this time, as our offices are closed to in-person visits.