Having trouble paying your bills?
There are many reasons you may struggle to pay your energy bills:
- higher energy prices
- you could be using more energy than usual
- your income has been recently impacted
- you’re already experiencing financial distress.
Talk to your energy company
There are measures in place to ensure you are always getting a fair deal regarding energy. If you are having trouble paying your energy bill, there are rules which mean your energy company must let you know what help is available.
You should contact your energy company first and ask to speak to their hardship team. This team will be able to discuss your assistance options, such as paying smaller amounts more often or delaying the payment of a bill. Anyone with an active payment assistance plan can't be disconnected or be followed for debt. It's important that you contact your company if you are having trouble paying your bills.
The Essential Services Commission website has information on how to get help.
Concessions and grants
Eligible concession cardholders can receive discounts on their energy bills. Visit the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) website to find out more about different energy concessions and how to access them.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for a grant. A grant is a payment to help you pay your bills.
Visit DFFH Hardship for information on how to apply.
Check your energy and gas bills to ensure your concession has been applied. If you’ve missed out on claiming any concessions, call your energy company, provide your concession card number, and ask that they back-date your concessions for the last 12 months or from your concession card start date if that is more recent.
Businesses can get advice to help understand and manage their energy use and costs on the For businesses webpage.
Victorian Default Offer
The Victorian Default Offer is a simple and fair electricity price set annually by the Essential Services Commission, not energy companies.
It provides Victorian residential and small business consumers access to a fair electricity deal even if they are unable or unwilling to engage in the retail market.
For more information, visit the Essential Services Commission.
$250 Power Saving Bonus payment
The fourth round of the $250 Power Saving Bonus closed for new applications on 31 August 2023.
Households who submitted an application by 11.59pm on 31 August 2023 and meet the eligibility requirements (including having not previously applied under the fourth round) will receive their $250 Bonus. Complete applications are normally processed within 2 weeks of submission though there may be delays due to high demand.
Visit the Victorian Energy Compare website for more information.
Energy Assistance Program
Victorians who need additional support with their energy bills can seek help through the Victorian Government’s Energy Assistance Program.
The Energy Assistance Program gives Victorians free, tailored, one-on-one help navigating the energy market and saving money on their energy bills.
The Energy Assistance Program can also help if your eligible energy concession is not attached to your electricity account. You can contact the Energy Assistance Program team via free call on 1800 161 215 or visit the Energy Assistance Program webpage.
How to lower your energy bills
Victorian Energy Compare
Check if you are on the cheapest energy offer that suits your circumstances. An energy 'offer' is the price you pay for your energy, plus any conditions, such as email-only billing (no paper bills) and pay-on-time discounts. The government's Victorian Energy Compare website is a great way to compare energy offers.
Victorian Energy Compare is the only independent website comparing electricity, gas and solar offers. It includes all prices from all energy companies, including discounts and conditions so that you can choose the best one for you. Seven out of 10 people saved money by switching to a better offer using Victorian Energy Compare. On average, people saved up to $330 in the first year when using the site to switch.
Save energy and money
You can do many easy and practical things to save energy and money at home. See our Energy saving tips for information and ideas on discount energy saving products, in-home energy assessments, and solar power.
Other useful materials to help with the cost of living pressures