We are excited to have launched a new service that could help low-income households save money on their energy bills – the Energy Assistance Program. The program will provide much needed support to the thousands of households struggling with very high bills and energy poverty following the Victorian lock-down.

The Energy Assistance Program is a free, easy-to-use, independent service, designed to help eligible Victorians save money on their electricity and gas bills. The program also provides advice on other energy issues, such as how to make your home more energy efficient.

The Energy Assistance Program follows on from our very successful 2019 Your Energy Broker trial program with a greater range of services on offer.

This program is provided in partnership with Uniting and the Australian Energy Foundation and is supported by the Victorian Government.

Running until August 2021, the program will assist the first 3,000 eligible Victorians with energy issues, including:

  • Difficulty paying energy bills
  • Assistance with financial hardship
  • Difficulty understanding energy bills

The program is more than helpful advice, offering personalised phone or video service to help households take steps towards lowering their bills.

Johanna is an example of just that. She received a bill from her energy provider for $1,800 in arrears. She was very stressed as she couldn’t pay this at the time, and she was unemployed. She called her provider and they were unhelpful. She discovered the Energy Assistance Program and she said “they intervened immediately, and it was sorted in a couple of days”. Our program found that her provider had over-charged her and, in the end, she only had to pay $970 – saving Johanna $830 by participating in the program.

“If I didn’t have that sort of help, I would have had to pay $1,800, which turned out to be an error. I was so stressed. There should be more programs like the Energy Assistance Program. People aren’t aware of their rights.”

To find out more about this service or recommend it to someone you know, visit our website or call 1800 830 029 (toll-free).

* In the Your Energy Broker pilot, households that switched to a cheaper electricity offer saved on average $270. Households that switched both electricity and gas saved on average $503.

** Program available until 31 August 2021 and is available to the first 3,000 participants who meet the eligibility criteria. View the eligibility https://www.bsl.org.au/services/energy-assistance/energy-assistance-and-brokerage/