Hardship, disconnection and complaints

Dialling a telephone

Under Victorian law, energy consumers have rights and protections. If you have a problem with an energy company, you should try to solve the problem with the company first. 


By law, your energy retailer is required to help you if you are having trouble paying your bill.  If you are having trouble paying, contact your retailer to explain your situation, discuss an affordable payment plan, and find out how your retailer can help.  If you are not comfortable talking to your retailer you can give permission for a friend or community worker to speak on your behalf.


If your electricity or gas has been disconnected, or is about to be disconnected, call the company that sends the bill straight away. Explain your situation and try to work out a solution to keep the electricity or gas connected. When negotiating a solution, the law says that energy retailers must think about how much you can realistically afford. If you can’t work out a solution with the retailer, contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria).

Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria)

EWOV is the free and independent organisation that helps people to sort out problems with their energy companies. EWOV is like an 'umpire' - they don't work for the customer or for the company.

EWOV can only help if you've tried to work out the problem with the company first.  If the energy company is unable to fix the problem or if you're not satisfied with their response, call the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV) on 1800 500 509.  

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Some households buy electricity from an 'on-seller', not a licensed energy retailer. On-sellers buy electricity from a retailer and then sell it to all of the customers in a specific building or site. On-selling can happen in places like caravan parks, retirement villages and apartment buildings.

EWOV can't deal with complaints about on-sellers. Clients who have a problem with an on-seller should contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 558 181.

Consumer Affairs Victoria can also deal with complaints about door-to-door selling and telemarketing.


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