Energy networks across the Australian states of NSW, Victoria, and South Australia have outlined several measures to support small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Australian businesses struggling through the coronavirus outbreak have been promised genuine relief on their power bills, energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor said.
Important relief for small businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19. We are supporting small businesses with new energy hardship provisions and waiving any disconnection, re-connection and/or contract break fees for those who have gone into hibernation. #auspol pic.twitter.com/Y0GTjlL8LT
— Angus Taylor MP (@AngusTaylorMP) March 29, 2020
We have set expectations for energy companies to protect customers during the COVID-19 crisis. Including hardship arrangements, not disconnecting customers without agreement and waiving some fees for small businesses @joshfrydenberg #auspol https://t.co/6Lazoj2DMA
— Angus Taylor MP (@AngusTaylorMP) March 27, 2020
Energy networks across NSW, Victoria, and South Australia have outlined several key measures to support customers doing it tough.
“Networks understand these are extraordinarily tough times for small business and energy bill relief will really help,” Energy Networks Australia chief executive Andrew Dillon said on Thursday.
“Networks will work with energy retailers to ensure the benefits of this package flow through to customers smoothly.”
Mothballed small businesses will not need to pay gas or electricity charges from April until June, if their consumption was less than a quarter of what it was last year.
Network charges will be repaid to small businesses shuttered as a result of COVID-19, as well as residential customers who go into default.
Large retailers that go onto payment plans or hardship arrangements will have their network charges deferred.
No residential or small business customers in financial distress will be disconnected without their consent until at least July 31.
Large businesses which on-sell energy to places like residential parks or retirement village have been promised the same timeline.
Disconnection and reconnection fees will not be imposed on small businesses that have temporarily closed, and they will not pay daily supply charges.
Planned outages will also be kept to a minimum over the next few months.
By Daniel McCulloch