Directory of services to help households with energy costs
Free home energy efficiency advice
The Energy Advisory Service provides a free telephone advice line to help people minimise their energy use and costs.
Energy price comparison service
Householders can use the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy electricity and gas price comparison service to compare their current energy deal with other offers available to South Australian customers.
Energy Made Easy can also be contacted by phone on 1300 585 165.
Resolving complaints with energy providers
The Energy and Water Ombudsman SA (EWOSA) can investigate and resolve disputes between customers and electricity and gas companies including:
- billing disputes
- problems with the provision and supply of electricity or gas
- payment difficulties leading to disconnection of your energy supply.
This is an independent, free service available to domestic and business customers.
Free energy efficiency measures
South Australian households may be able to receive energy efficiency support from energy retailers under the Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES). Common activities include installing water saving shower heads, to save on water heating costs, or energy efficient light globes.
Contact any of the REES obliged retailers to find out what energy efficiency offers may be available.
Help with managing money and bills
Energy retailers offer a variety of payment options to help people budget for their bills, eg payment extensions or instalment plans.
Retailers also have hardship programs for customers experiencing difficulties paying their energy bills. Hardship programs vary between retailers but they generally provide assistance with alternative payment arrangements, accessing energy concessions and setting up longer term solutions. The energy retailer's call centre staff will discuss payment options before putting customers through to their hardship team.
There are numerous financial aid options for people having trouble paying their bills, including:
- financial counselling
- Centrelink support
- emergency payments
- micro-finance and no-interest loans.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission's MoneySmart website provides a range of helpful information, including:
- managing money
- borrowing and credit
- superannuation and retirement
- tools and resources.
Numerous energy bill concessions are available to help South Australian households with the cost of energy bills.
Free home energy audits
Energy retailers may provide a free energy audit under the REES to households on a low income.
Visit the Essential Services Commission of South Australia's website for the obliged retailers and third party contractors who deliver these audits.
Department of Social Services – assistance for people in financial crisis
The Australian Government Department of Social Services offers Emergency Relief (ER) funding to a range of community and charitable organisations to provide emergency assistance to people in financial crisis.
If you would like to refer a client for ER assistance, services are available in SA through the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, Uniting Care Wesley and Anglicare. For details on how to contact your local ER services please contact the SA office of Department of Social Services.