Each month during the coronavirus pandemic we are reporting on the number of energy customers who are on payment plans and enquiring about assistance with paying bills.
Energy customer support during the coronavirus pandemic
During the coronavirus pandemic, we are regularly requesting data from electricity and gas retailers on the number of energy customers who are:
- on payment plans
- enquiring about assistance with paying bills.
We are providing information about the data we receive on this page.
Data is reported by retailers on a voluntary basis and not audited by us.
Key findings: July 2021
During the week ending 25 July 2021, we received submissions from 23 energy retailers, covering 98 per cent of Victorian electricity customers.
- There were 964 electricity and 262 gas disconnections for non-payment completed (residential and small business) between 1 to 31 July, as reported by 10 retailers. This included no disconnections between 16 to 27 July due to movement restrictions in Victoria.
- More residential customers who can pay for ongoing usage received tailored assistance in July 2021. The number of customers receiving tailored assistance who cannot pay for their ongoing usage remained stable.
- The average arrears for residential customers on tailored assistance who can pay ongoing usage remained stable, while the average arrears of residential customers who cannot pay ongoing usage increased, with gas now at its highest since the payment difficulty framework began (January 2019).
- Fewer small business customers were on payment assistance and their arrears for electricity decreased in July. However, more small business customers were on payment assistance for gas while their arrears remained stable.
- There was a higher number of other residential customers with electricity arrears (excluding customers on payment or deferral plans) while the average arrears decreased in July 2021. Fewer other residential customers had arrears for gas bills (excluding customers on payment or deferral plans) while the average arrears increased in July 2021.
- Fewer other small business customers had arrears (excluding customers on payment or deferral plans) for electricity and is currently the lowest since we first started collecting this data in July 2020. The average arrears of these customers had a slight increase in July 2021. More other small business gas customers had arrears while their average arrears decreased in July 2021.
- There was an increase in missed bill payments for residential customers for both electricity and gas in July. The missed bills for residential gas customers is the highest point since we started collecting this measure from April 2020.
- There were also more missed bill payments for small business customers for both electricity and gas.