Origin Energy help for customers during Covid-19
Written on the 16 April 2020 by SAFCA
Re: Supporting Origin customers during COVID-19 disruption
We understand that many people will be worried about how they are going to pay their bills during this difficult and uncertain time, and we want to reassure customers that Origin is here to help them if they are impacted by COVID-19.
The continued supply of energy is crucial to enabling our customers to work or self-isolate at home and to recover from any illness they may contract.
Origin has already started taking proactive assistance to help customers. This assistance is more important at a time when many Australian households and small businesses are facing considerable economic uncertainty.
We understand energy bills can cause additional stress, particularly for more vulnerable members of our community. These measures include: Our hardship program (Power On) will support vulnerable customers by offering tailored payment plans, debt deferrals and waivers, and protection from disconnection.
Origin is redeploying staff to increase the size of our Power On team to meet the anticipated growing demand. In our view, the Power On program will be able to accommodate the likely increase in customers experiencing payment difficulty, but we will continue to actively monitor the situation. We will also suspend late payment fees so customers who pay late are not penalised.
All residential and small business customers, irrespective of their financial circumstances, can set up bill smoothing for up to 24 months to help manage their bills. We are also extending payment plans for residential and small business customers when they simply ask for additional time.
We are communicating directly to all of our customers highlighting the support available and how they can access it In addition to the above, we are actively working with government and industry on ways to support vulnerable customers and to provide relief to customers who may be struggling during this difficult time.
And we fully support the statement of expectations for the energy industry releases by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) last week.
Please rest assured that we are fully committed to supporting our most vulnerable customers during this difficult time and welcome ongoing communication with you about how we do this. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact myself or Rachel Round on (03) 8627 9375
Yours sincerely Mel Homes-Allen Customer Advocacy Program Lead Origin
e firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 08 8217 2248