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Energy Partners Program Newsletter

Energy Partners Program staff hope you all have a happy and safe festive season and we look forward to working with you in 2020.

Latest news

New ‘one-stop-shop’ to help with cost of living pressures

The Government of South Australia has recently launched the Better Budgets website to help South Australians easily and quickly find a range of initiatives available to help ease cost-of-living pressures.

The website has been designed to improve access to information and resources in areas including energy, education, health, transport and money management.

Please share news of this website with your colleagues and clients.

Energy charter first report

The Independent Accountability Panel, led by chair Dr Wendy Craik, has published its first report on the 2019 disclosures made by signatories to The Energy Charter. The charter is a statement about energy businesses placing customers at the centre of their businesses, and delivering better outcomes for them. Participation of energy companies in the charter is voluntary.
The panel has made 32 recommendations to assist the companies to deliver a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for all Australians. Key themes in the recommendations include:
  • Increasing customer voice and experience at governance and strategic levels
  • Companies getting together to deliver high-impact initiatives for change such as tariff co-design and roll-out, advocacy for customers facing vulnerability and access to distributed energy resources
  • Measuring, tracking and benchmarking progress on customer outcomes across the sector, closing the loop on the impact of individual initiatives
  • Elevating customer feedback and complaints strategically within each business, and
  • Going above and beyond compliance with legislation, rules or regulations.

Partner Updates

Climate ready Campbelltown

The City of Campbelltown council held a Climate Ready Forum in November about how to prepare for extreme heat events and build networks of resilience. Over 100 people attended and heard from a range of experts including gardening guru Sophie Thompson. The forum topics included how to stay healthy and cooler in the heat.
Melinda from our Energy Advisory Service supported the event, providing energy-saving resources and tips, including ways to reduce cooling costs and cool home efficiently. SA health was also there to provide information about how to stay healthy during extreme heat emergencies.

The City of Campbelltown is a member of the Resilient East coalition of councils. The coalition is committed to preparing their communities for a changing climate and improving the resilience of people and assets to extreme heat and prolonged heat events.

Similar initiatives are happening across other regions, for example, Resilient South.

New upgrades open at the Joinery

Conservation Council SA celebrated the completion of its new community kitchen and building upgrades with a VIP launch on 1 November. Over the previous five years, The Joinery had welcomed thousands of visitors and its facilities were a little worn, resulting in an appeal for donations.
The appeal raised enough funds to renovate the community kitchen and tackle some other things that needed doing. Well done to everyone involved!

Welcome Zahra Foundation Australia

We warmly welcome the Zahra Foundation Australia to the Energy Partners Program. Zahra Foundation supports women and their children to live a life free of violence and achieve economic independence, and the program will work with them to help their clients to manage their energy use and costs.

Business help

City of Adelaide Sustainability Incentives Scheme

Businesses located in the Adelaide CBD or North Adelaide may be eligible for a rebate available under a revised Sustainability Incentives Scheme. This supports projects that help businesses to:
  • generate, manage and share electricity
  • improve a building’s energy or water performance
  • reduce costs and carbon emissions.
The City of Adelaide can also support environmental certifications for eligible organisations.

Multi storey buildings, households, and car parks may also receive support under the scheme.

In Focus

Do your clients need help to pay their electricity or gas bills?

Stronger protections are now available to households having trouble paying their energy bills.
The Australian Energy Regulator has taken action to assist vulnerable customers experiencing payment difficulties by introducing an enforceable Customer Hardship Policy Guideline.

Energy retailers have important responsibilities in helping vulnerable customers. The guideline requires energy retailers to provide consistent minimum standards of assistance, ensure hardship programs are easily accessible, and to put processes in place to identify customers who may need help.

Customers participating in a hardship program will get:
  • access to different payment options
  • help to find a better energy plan
  • tips on energy efficiency
  • information about government concessions, relief schemes, energy rebates and financial counselling services.
Other help may also be available.

All energy providers have a hardship policy explaining how they can assist customers who are having trouble paying energy bills due to hardship. Hardship policies are available on retailers' websites, or you may ask them to post you a copy.

If a customer is in a hardship program and meets the conditions of the program, their energy provider cannot disconnect them. When life is tough, encourage your clients to call their energy retailer and talk to them about their situation.

For more information, visit the Australian Energy Regulator’s website
Contact us


8204 1888 or 1800 671 907 (free call from fixed lines only)
9am–5pm, Monday–Friday
Interpreting or translation assistance is available on request.
Copyright © 2021 Department for Energy and Mining, All rights reserved.

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