While you’re likely not making any money at the moment, there’s a good chance your overheads are still demanding your attention and your cash.
If one of those overheads if your energy bill, there may be a reprieve for you.
According to the Federal Government’s business.gov.au site, if you can’t pay your bill on time, or have received a disconnection notice, the first thing you should do it pick up the phone. By speaking to your energy provider directly, there’s a good chance you’ll be able delay the payment, settle it in smaller amounts and ultimately avoid disconnection.
“If you’re not satisfied after speaking to your retailer, contact the energy ombudsman in your state or territory. An ombudsman is a free and independent resolution service,” says a representative of the government’s business division.
The Morrison government has made it clear that it expects energy companies to look after businesses affected by Coronavirus. As such, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has set out expectations to providers, including:
- waiving disconnection, re-connection and/or contract break fees for small businesses that have gone into hibernation, along with daily supply charges to retailers, during any period of disconnection until at least 31 July 2020
- offering all households and small businesses in financial stress a payment plan or hardship arrangement
- not disconnecting customers who may be in financial stress, without their agreement before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond
- deferring referral to a debt collection agency, or credit default listing until at least 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond
- minimising planned outages, and providing as much notice as possible to help you manage during an outage
If you’re unable to meet the new commitments, or require more assistance, speak with your provider immediately, to ensure new parameters are arranged.
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