Take control of your energy bills with a payment plan

A payment plan can be helpful if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills or if you have an energy debt. Starting a payment plan is easy, just ask your retailer.

Setting up your plan

Before speaking to your retailer, have a think about your income and expenses. Completing a budget will help you better understand your financial situation, which is the first step to getting back on track. It will also help you understand how much you can really afford to pay towards your energy bills on a regular basis. 

  • ASIC’s Money Smart website offers a budget planner tool (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au) that helps you work out where your money is going.
  • If you’re in serious financial distress or struggling to get your finances in order, you may benefit from speaking to a financial counsellor. Call 1800 007 007 to find a free financial counsellor near you.

When you’re trying to agree on a payment plan with your retailer, remember:

  • If the repayments are too much, you might not be able to pay them on a regular basis and you may break your payment plan.
  • If they’re too small, you risk not paying enough to reduce your debt or cover your ongoing usage.
  • Aim for a payment plan that you can afford and that will at least cover your ongoing usage.

Your retailer shouldn’t pressure you into an agreement—tell your retailer if you need some time to think about it.

Staying on track

Once you’re on a payment plan and making the agreed payments, your retailer might contact you occasionally to see how things are going. You should also make sure to contact your retailer if you can’t keep up with the payments or something changes.

  • If your situation gets better, consider contacting your retailer to increase your payment plan amount—the sooner you can pay off your debt, the better.
  • If your situation gets worse, contact your retailer to agree on a new payment plan. As long as you’re making agreed payments, you can’t be disconnected.

Sustainable Payment Plans Framework

Many energy retailers have signed up to a voluntary Framework that encourages retailers and customers to work together to set up payment plans that are sustainable and affordable.

To see the Framework and check whether your retailer has signed up, visit our Sustainable Payment Plans Framework webpage.

Last updated on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 11:23