Small businesses and residential customers impacted by COVID-19 in Melbourne’s south east and the Mornington Peninsula will be able to access electricity bill relief under a new support package announced by energy network businesses today.

United Energy is among the energy networks in NSW, Victoria and South Australia that have announced a suite of measures to provide support for residential customers and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Rourke said there are 50,545 small business customers in the network region who are potentially eligible for this relief.

“This is a genuine offer to support these customers in a meaningful way,” Mr Rourke said.

“It effectively provides six months of support by helping them now through the trading constraints and later when hopefully they’ll be getting back to business.”

Under the support package:

  • We are working with electricity retailers to support residential customers who go on payment plans or hardship arrangements as a result of COVID-19. This will apply for customer network charges from 1 April to 30 June 2020.
  • Network charges will be rebated for small business customers experiencing financial stress and who have temporarily ceased trading as a result of the pandemic. This applies for network charges from 1 April to 30 June 2020.

In other support programs, United Energy is waiving disconnection and/or reconnection fees for small businesses that have temporarily ceased trading. This means they will not pay the daily supply charges.

Eligible small businesses are those that consume less than 40MWh per annum and use less than 25% of their historical average consumption during the April to June period.

Small businesses don’t need to do anything to receive the rebate. It will be automatically administered through their existing electricity retailer.

United Energy is continuing to deliver safe and reliable power to more than 685,000 homes and businesses as the COVID-19 situation escalates. Customers are advised that:

  • All contact centre operations remain fully operational:
    • United Energy: 1300 131 689 for general enquiries or 13 20 99 for service difficulties and faults
  • Our approved contractors that work on the United Energy network will have self-branded uniforms and carry photo ID labelled as a UE Authorised Contractor.
  • Notifications of any planned outages for work essential for sustaining reliability and network safety will continue to be provided well in advance of works starting.
  • Information on how to prepare for planned outages and protect food safety is available on the website at www.unitedenergy.com.au/your-electricity/frequently-asked-questions/

For more information about United Energy’s response to COVID-19, visit www.unitedenergy.com.au/COVID.