As bushfires rage on across large parts of Australia, many energy retailers are endeavouring to support those affected.
The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said that the energy industry is very aware of the difficult circumstances that too many families and small businesses are dealing with as a result of one of the worst bushfire seasons we have seen.
“Our thoughts are with all those communities enduring what is now a national crisis. The immediate focus has to be on ensuring the safety of people and their communities – and energy retailers are also keen to do their bit,” Ms McNamara said.
“At a time like this, electricity bills are the last thing people should worry about, so it is important to know that electricity retailers have hardship and support teams in place to assist those who have been impacted.
“Our retailers are offering a range of support measures, including freezes on billing in impacted areas, payment extensions, charitable donations and other relief measures.”
In addition, AGL has announced it will contribute $200,000 to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund to provide immediate financial assistance to those impacted by the Gippsland bushfires.
AGL Loy Yang acting General Manager, John Kienhuis, said it was important for the company to support the community it operates in.
“We have around 600 employees and hundreds more contractors here at Loy Yang, and I think most people know someone who has been impacted by these fires or someone who is assisting in the emergency effort,” Mr Kienhuis said.
Mr Kienhuis said as well as the business donation, many AGL Loy Yang employees were doing their own fundraising activities.
“In the mine we have a group who is organising funds for hay, fodder and other supplies and AGL has agreed to match what they raise, dollar for dollar.“
AGL also recently announced that volunteer firefighters would receive $150 credit on their AGL electricity or gas bills.
“The impact of the bushfires have been wide reaching for our people, family, friends and customers living in affected areas. We’re also continuing to support customers affected by pausing their billing and communicating assistance options.”