FOR RELEASE: Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Help extended to regional Victorians to take control of energy bills


With 1 in 3 Victorians concerned about energy bills, support is on the way for regional consumers to access their rights and reduce their costs


Regional Victorians are concerned about paying for the essentials as they face another six weeks at home. Energy bills can be one less worry, according to Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) energy experts, Karl Barratt and Cameron Crome, with support available via a partnership established with the Victorian Government in 2019.

“High energy bills are concerning. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted people who’ve never worried about their energy bill before, and for others it’s made a tough situation much worse” said Karl Barratt, Research and Engagement Manager at CPRC. “We’ve simplified the support available to ensure regional Victorians are not forgotten during this pandemic and can take control of their energy bills.”

CPRC’s research found that 31% of Victorians were concerned about their ability to pay their energy bill in May. But only 11% of consumers were taking action to reduce costs. A lot more people could be switching to a better plan, asking for payment assistance, or accessing government concessions. These free, simple webinars aim to get regional consumers the support they need.

“We’re trying to reach as many people as we can through our free webinar series to show people that energy doesn’t need to be difficult. We’re putting consumers back in the driver’s seat when it comes to their energy bills” said Cameron Crome, Energy Trainer at CPRC.

“In just 30 minutes, people learn four simple and effective steps to tackle their energy costs: getting cheaper energy prices; saving with concessions; getting help from their energy company; and, importantly, how to save energy while staying comfortable in the home. Getting the chance to ask questions about your energy concerns directly to the experts and in real time is another great reason to participate in an Energy Simplified webinar.”

Webinars are running from now until 1 September.

Register for a free webinar at https://events.humanitix.com/take-control-of-your-energy-bill-webinars and go to www.cprc.org.au for more information.

These webinars were developed in partnership with the Victorian Government, Ellis Jones and CISVic to train 650 community workers around Victoria 2019.

Thanks to the support of AusNet Services, CPRC has received a boost to support regional consumers over the next three weeks to ensure this essential resource reaches those who need it most.

Karl and Cam’s tips for managing your energy bills

  • Bigger areas cost more to heat. So, shrink the area you heat by closing doors to unused rooms to stay comfortable and healthy this winter.
  • Energy concessions save you money. If you have a concession card, phone your energy company today to make sure you are getting concessions on your energy bills.
  • Energy companies now must tell you on your energy bill if they have a cheaper energy deal for your home. So, check the ‘could you save money on another plan’ box on the front of your bill, if it says you can save, call your energy company.
  • If you’re going to struggle to pay your next energy bill, your energy company must help you. Soy, don’t stress, call your energy company straight away and ask to be set up on an affordable payment plan.

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For further information or to line up an interview with Karl Barratt and Cameron Crome, please contact: Progressive PR & Communications 03 9696 6417

Darren Saffin / Jodie Artis darren@progressivepr.com.au / jodie@progressivepr.com.au 0411 089 209 / 0414 699 186