The Ergon Energy Retail and Powerlink sponsored ‘Empowering Community Services’ webinar series couldn’t have come at a better time according to ICAN/ICAN Learn CEO, Aaron Davis. “Financial counsellors and the broader community services sector are bracing themselves, as planned reductions in social security payments and the lifting of debt recovery moratoriums will lead to inevitable increases in financial hardship. Webinar 2 – Savings and Financial Hardship Strategies, with Chris Samuelsson, Vulnerable Customer Manager, Ergon Retail provided a proactive forum for regional Queensland’s main energy provider to reach out to community services and discuss approaches in managing energy debt.”
“This was a fabulous opportunity for us to share what Ergon Energy Retail can do to support our customers that are doing it tough,” said Ms Samuelsson. “We as Regional Queenslanders face many challenges together like cyclones, floods and fire, and this has better prepared us for the financial challenges COVID-19 will bring. We want our customers experiencing financial hardship to contact us so that we can put strategies in place to get through this together.”
The webinar explored Ergon Retail’s Customer Assist program, home energy audits, home energy saving strategies, government rebates and concessions, and how to better assist our shared client base. For those who missed webinar 2 or would just like to watch it again, you can watch it here.
To complement the learnings from the webinar, ICAN Learn put together an Ergon ‘Community Services’ Resource kit, with information on Ergon Retail’s Hardship Policy, Understanding your residential bill, community organisation (NGO) brochure and the latest statement from the Australian Energy Regulator.
The third and final webinar in the ‘Empowering Community Services’ webinar series, will commence at 11am Wednesday 7 October. Webinar 3 – Energy Consumer with the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Queensland (EWOQ) and will feature a live Q&A with Ombudsman, Jane Pires. You can register for the webinar here.
“Queensland’s community services play a vital role in supporting people in the community – particularly those in vulnerable circumstances – who may have complaints about their energy or water provider,” said Ms Pires.
“If someone has a problem with their energy or water bill, the first thing they need to do is contact their energy or water provider,” she said. “Retailers and distributors can’t solve a problem if they don’t know about it.
“If they’re unhappy with the outcome or they’re not getting the help they need, contact us – the Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland – by visiting www.ewoq.com.au or calling 1800 662 837.
“If you’re part of the community services sector and seeing consumers coming across the same problems, we’d be very interested in hearing from you too to ensure systemic issues are addressed by the energy and water sector.”