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AGL said it has delivered more than $35 million in payments including targeted payment matching, installation of solar panels for eligible customers and enhancing customer communications.

The utility has also undertaken customer support initiatives including debt relief, energy bill credits and supporting customers impacted by family and domestic violence, in the past 12 months.

AGL launched its $70 million two-year Customer Support Package in 2023, with 2024 expected to see AGL deliver ongoing support with a focus on developing new initiatives to help customers get back on track.

This includes trialling payment matching, no-cost solar installation for eligible hardship customers, and further proactive outreach to those showing early signs of hardship.

AGL Chief Customer Officer, Jo Egan, said as an essential services provider AGL is committed to supporting customers who are struggling to stay on top of their bills.

“We announced our $70 million Customer Support Package in 2023 to assist customers to manage cost-of-living pressures, particularly our customers who are experiencing vulnerability.

“More than $35 million has been spent to deliver assistance to customers through a variety of programs, including targeted payment matching, installation of solar panels for eligible customers and enhancing customer communications to help manage their energy use,” Ms Egan said.

Ms Egan said that while there has been an increase in customers entering hardship, they are engaging with AGL sooner, providing a greater opportunity to support customers in reducing their costs and provide information on energy literacy.

“We are acutely aware that customers are facing cost-of-living pressures and we encourage customers to contact us early if they are finding it difficult to pay their bills as we have learnt from experience that seeking help early can make an enormous difference,” Ms Egan said.

AGL said it will continue to ramp up the predictive solutions to support customers, utilising data-led insights to identify when customers are showing warning signs of needing assistance.

As part of this work, AGL said it has proactively engaged with more than 190,000 customers to discuss support options including payment support, converting to better energy plans and accessing grants, rebates and concessions. 

AGL also said that it has supported 17,000 customers to move off AGL’s hardship program, Staying Connected, through debt relief.

“We recognise that what works for one household may not work for another. That’s why we are proud to trial different initiatives to help customers having trouble paying their bills to get back on track, like solar installation for eligible customers experiencing vulnerability, direct support through debt relief and credits or providing information on how to reduce their usage,” Ms Egan said.

AGL said it will continue to invest in customer support to at least $70 million through to June 2025, with funding to focus on:

  • Continuing targeted payment matching and debt relief for eligible customers experiencing hardship to assist them with getting off the Staying Connected program and focus on their on-going consumption
  • Continuing to proactively engage customers to assist with payment support, access to grants, rebates and concessions
  • Continuing to install no-cost solar panels for eligible customers experiencing hardship to assist them to electrify their homes and help reduce their energy bills
  • Simplifying energy literacy and how customers access help and support digitally, along with extending outreach at external events to support customers with payment support along with information on how to manage their energy use
  • Performing empathy awareness training for frontline staff to enhance AGL’s capability to proactively identify and support customers facing vulnerability

Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Timon+photography+world 

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