DELWP partners with CPRC and CISVic to launch innovative and accessible energy information program, equipping 600+ emergency relief workers in 30 locations state-wide

L-R: Catherine Gipp (AusNet Services), Maree Schliebs (Energy Mentor), Cam Crome (CPRC Energy Trainer), The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio (Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and Minister for Solar Homes), Kate Wheller (CISVic Executive Officer), Karl Barratt (CPRC Research and Engagement Manager), Jill Wilson (CISVic Volunteer Development Manager), Melanie Yap (Ellis Jones Director, Social Impact), Lauren Solomon (CPRC CEO)

Victorians consumers experiencing energy vulnerability are receiving greater support thanks to a new $640,000 program funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The new Energy Info Hub website and training program was launched today in Mill Park by the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and Minister for Solar Homes.

Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) in partnership with Community Information Support Victoria (CISVic), is training over 600 emergency relief workers to provide effective energy support to households experiencing vulnerability in 45 locations across the State.

The training is supported by a range of energy information materials, which will be distributed directly to community workers and housed on the revived Energy Info Hub website (www.energyinfohub.org.au).

CPRC CEO, Lauren Solomon outlined the unique journey taken by CPRC and CISVic, supported by communications agency Ellis Jones, to develop an innovative and accessible support program.

“Energy has been a constant source of confusion and financial difficulty, particularly for vulnerable consumers,” said Ms Solomon. “In the past, we’ve often seen a one-size-fits-all approach, without asking the community what materials are needed. Our new collaborative education and outreach program was informed by research and evidence about what information community workers and consumers really need.”

“In partnership with CISVic, CPRC travelled around Victoria speaking with community workers to understand the energy issues vulnerable consumers are facing. We developed a clear set of principles around what information and resources consumers need, and how this should be communicated. Then we got to work codesigning those materials with our partners and consumers.”

CISVic Executive Officer, Kate Wheller emphasised the importance of the positive, engaging and simple material, explaining: “Vulnerable consumers will be able to walk into any CISVic agency across Victoria from November knowing they will receive effective energy support. This program is different to anything we’ve seen before and will ensure community workers feel confident in providing this critical energy information.”

New, simple and engaging energy information fact sheets, explainer videos and posters are now available which support Victorian energy consumers:

  • Accessing concessions
  • Getting cheaper energy plans
  • Saving energy and money
  • Securing assistance with payment difficulties

“The continuity of information and resources provided to energy consumers that is also important. We need to recognise the ongoing and collective responsibility to ensure consumers are aware of their rights and are able to effectively access reforms that have been designed to improve their wellbeing.” said Ms Solomon.

Demonstrating the collaborative nature of this program, AusNet Services has also provided support to amplify the impact of the program and increase the distribution of energy information resources.

DELWP’s new energy program was launched at the Mill Park Library today with representatives from DELWP, AusNet Services, CPRC, CISVic, Ellis Jones and, most importantly, participants from the co-design workshops.