Vulnerable energy customers who need help paying their bills can access $50 vouchers from one of 342 community welfare organisations, under the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme (EAPA). Energy retailers are required to accept vouchers as credit towards a customer’s bill.
The vouchers can help older people afford extra heating and air con, reconnect people’s disconnected gas and electricity or help people out of a downward debt spiral.
Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin said the new organisations will boost assistance for people that need it most.
“EAPA helps people experiencing short term financial crisis or a disaster pay their electricity or natural gas bill, ensuring they stay connected during periods of financial difficulty,” Mr Harwin said.
The government helped 55,000 customers pay their energy bills through the EAPA scheme last year.