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Right to hardship assistance

Under Victoria’s Payment Difficulty Framework, your energy company must let you know what help is available if you are having trouble paying your energy bills. This includes discussing various flexible payment options and making disconnection a last resort.

To learn more about your right to assistance under Victoria’s nation-leading Payment Difficulty Framework, visit the Essential Services Commission.


Who can I contact if I have a complaint about my retailer or bill?

Step 1: Contact your retailer

Always contact your retailer first unless it is about a power outage (for power outages, contact your distributor). Your retailer is the business that bills you for your electricity or gas use. You can find contact details for your retailer on your energy bill.

Step 2: Contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria

If you have asked your retailer for help but are not satisfied with their response, contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV). EWOV is an independent, free dispute resolution service for energy and water issues. It aims to settle problems fairly, independently and as fast as possible. EWOV can help resolve issues so you can manage your bills and keep your energy connected. Visit EWOV or call 1800 500 509 (free call).

If you are having a problem with your energy retailer, distributor or embedded network provider, or feel they may be doing the wrong thing under Victoria’s energy legislation (the law), in addition to contacting EWOV, you can make a complaint through the Essential Services Commission.

For more information, visit the Essential Services Commission or phone 1300 664 969.

Energy Fairness Plan

The Victorian Government has reformed the energy retail market (changes in the law). The reforms increase protections for Victorian energy consumers. They also hold energy retailers to account for not following the rules.

The Energy Fairness Plan benefits Victorians by:

  • making energy retail markets simpler and fairer
  • cutting the cost of energy for Victorian households and small businesses
  • ensuring companies that do the wrong thing face the consequences.

The Energy Fairness Plan reforms build on the commitment to implement all the recommendations from the Independent Review of the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets in Victoria.

Page last updated: 07/09/22