Back to list

Utilities Disconnection Notice

If you haven’t paid bills and haven’t contacted your provider to discuss options, they can disconnect your power or gas, and restrict your water usage.

If you receive a disconnection notice, you need to act quickly to stay connected.

Here are your options:

Immediate Actions you can take

  • Contact your service provider to seek HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE

    Contact your service provider to seek HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE and ask for the hardship section. For example, they may be able to reduce the bill, give you more time to pay, defer payment for a period of time, or accept part payments to help you manage. In some cases they may want to see evidence of your situation, however you can choose to withhold private information that you are not comfortable sharing.

  • If your service provider does not grant you any hardship assistance?

    If your service provider does not grant you any hardship assistance or insists on a payment plan that is not affordable, you can lodge a complaint with an Ombudsman (EWOV in Victoria). Your utilities can’t be disconnected while your case is under review.

    You can speak to a financial counsellor for further assistance.

  • Check you are being billed at concession rates if you have a Health Care Card. Are you eligible for a Utility Relief Grant?

    If you are on a low income or hold a healthcare or pension card, you may be eligible for a Utility Relief Grant, which can pay up to $650 each toward gas, electricity or water bills. To see if you are eligible, speak to your water, gas or electricity provider.

  • Centrelink recipients should apply for the energy supplement if you are not already receiving it. Contact a community agency for an Emergency Relief Voucher

    You may be able to access emergency relief assistance from a local emergency relief agency. You can do an online search for “emergency relief providers in [name of town]”. This is usually for food, clothing and petrol, but can free up your income so you can make a bill payment. Some agencies can provide assistance with a Telstra bill for people in hardship.


  • If utilities are disconnected, there may be additional costs for reconnection

    This can be negotiated and waived if you are in a hardship situation.

  • Beware of the high cost of short term loans

    e.g. payday loans or pawnbroker advances, or paying on credit card if you already can’t afford your credit card bills.