Thousands of customers signing up for energy bill relief

Thousands of customers signing up for energy bill relief

Thousands of customers have asked for financial assistance from their energy providers as Australians feel the cost-of-living pinch.

AGL Australia has revealed 10,000 customers joined its financial hardship program in the past year, while Energy Australia gets 1,000 bill relief calls every weekday.

Crystal Noronha has worked in the AGL call centre for 11 years and says she is increasingly hearing from customers in need.

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“There’s a lot of distress in their voice, there’s anxiety,” Noronha said.

“Some hide away from sharing their difficulties, but we’re here to help them.”

Customers don’t need to be dealing with extreme financial hardship to see some relief as everyone is eligible for some help.

Gavin Dufty, from charity St Vincent De Paul, said energy companies have ways to help their customers.

“Every energy company has a legal obligation to provide support for all households regardless,” Dufty said.

Assistance will depend on the provider and the customer’s circumstances but can include bill extensions or paying in smaller amounts more often.

In some instances, they could waive the debt completely.

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From July 1, every household will be given $300 credited into their energy account from the federal government to help provide bill relief.

The government also has a free website where customers can compare energy plan prices to find the cheapest one.

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

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