Posted on 22. May, 2014 in News

A record number of Victorian families have had their power switched off and now face the debt collector, due to rising power bills.

Denis Napthine isn’t doing enough for vulnerable or low-income families, and isn’t making sure power companies are using alternative collection methods so payments are met fairly.

Gas and electricity companies are obligated to assist families who are struggling to pay their bills by offering payment plans.

The figures come as Denis Napthine axed the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target, which helped families save money on their power bills.

The Federal Budget will also have a significant impact on household budgets with Tony Abbott’s plan for the country’s finances reaping more money from low income families than those better off.

Quotes attributable to Ms D’Ambrosio:

“Under Denis Napthine, they’ll cut your power but not your power bill.”

“Denis Napthine must crack down on power companies that cut off households before offering a payment plan.”

“We’re coming into winter, and no family should go without electricity or gas.”

Key Facts

• Under Victoria’s energy retail code, retailers are obliged to identify customers who may be struggling with their bills and offer them payment plans to prevent them falling into financial hardship. The Napthine Government are failing to penalise the retailers who are flouting their obligations.
• The Energy and Water Ombudsman recently released a report showing that in three months, there was a 29 and a 66 per cent jump in electricity and gas disconnections, respectively.
• The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target was set up in 2007, and was set to run over a twenty year period. The VEET scheme supports 2,000 Victorian jobs which will now disappear.

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