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Managing your Gas and Electricity Bills

Household utility costs seem to be taking a larger bite out of household budgets.

Here are some suggestions for keeping these costs under control and easier to manage.

Good to know

  • Easyway instalments or Bill Smoothing.

    Most service providers will let you pay a fixed monthly price (based on your average usage) instead of the variable high and low seasonal bills. It spreads your costs evenly over the year which helps with budgeting and avoids major ‘bill shock’ from periods of high energy use. Contact your provider to discuss.

  • Centrepay bill payment.

    If you receive Centrelink benefits “Centrepay” is a program where you can elect to have your bills paid fortnightly direct from your Centrelink benefit leaving you the balance for your cash expenses.

  • Special concessions.

    Check  the Centrelink Department of Human Services and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services websites to view the various concessions and types of benefit payments you may be entitled to and inform your various services when you have applied and been approved.

  • Hardship help.

    If you have trouble paying your bills your service provider should offer Hardship Assistance. This may give you longer to pay or an affordable arrangement but you need to contact the provider and explain your difficulties.

    (***Link back to “Urgent page” re F/C or how to complain if not…)

  • Shop around for a better energy offer.

    It can pay to compare prices available from different energy providers to ensure you have a competitive deal. Your existing provider may even offer a lower price to try and keep your business. There are several websites that help you compare energy offers, for example:

    https://mpp.switchon.vic.gov.au/

    http://www.yourchoice.vic.gov.au/

    www.energymadeeasy.gov.au for other states

Further Info

  • Tips for Saving energy,  reducing your bills

    Consumer rights and more can be found at: www.energymadeeasy.gov.au

    Water saving tips available at http://www.yourhome.gov.au/water

Key Contacts

EWOV ( Victoria’s Ombudsman for Energy and Water issues)
Website: www.ewov.com.au
Phone: 1800 500 509

DHHHS Vic
Website: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-individuals/financial-support/concessions
Phone: 1300 650 172

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