Debt to energy companies is one of the most common sources of financial stress raised with Uniting’s financial counsellors.
Matt Cairns, Uniting’s Energy and Financial Literacy Program Manager believes Victoria’s energy market is difficult to navigate at the best of times, but during COVID-19, more people are struggling to make ends meet.
“Their energy bills are increasing due to lockdown restrictions, working from home and home schooling, and households don’t know where to turn to for support.”
To respond to this, Uniting is partnering with the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Australian Energy Foundation to provide targeted advice and support to Victorians who need help with their energy bills.
The Energy Assistance and Brokerage Program will assist people struggling to meet their bill payments and find the best value energy deal for their home to keep their costs as low as possible in the future.
The support is available online and over-the-phone, so Victorians can access this support from home. Support is available in languages including Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi and Vietnamese. For support call 1800 830 029.
Announcing this new funding, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said “We know that staying at home is putting more pressure on household bills. These programs make sure that anyone who needs extra help with their energy bills, gets it.”