With electricity prices rising significantly in recent years, there is increasing pressure on the community sector to help clients struggling with electricity issues. Many community service organisations have noted an increase in people presenting with an electricity bill they can’t afford to pay.

In this section you will find information to help you provide assistance to clients who may be struggling with electricity or gas bills, and better understand consumer rights when it comes to energy as an essential service. The information covers what to do if you or your client:

  1. Need help reading an electricity bill
  2. Are having difficulties paying an electricity or gas bill
  3. Have been disaconnected or are at risk of disconnection
  4. Have received a high electricity bill or would like to reduce your energy costs
  5. Would like to compare electricity retailers or plans
  6. Have a complaint about an electricity supplier

QCOSS also has a number of energy factsheets available to download from our website. You can print these factsheets to hand out to clients.

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Queensland Government media release Christmas and school holidays can often be tough for Queensland families struggling with financial pressures, which is why it’s important to remember that help is just a phone call away. Acting Minister for Communities Shannon Fentiman said December and January...
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The Queensland Household Energy Survey (QHES) is an annual survey held in conjunction with Powerlink and is critical in providing Energy Queensland with useful data for energy usage and renewable technologies. This survey is open to all Queenslanders and will take approximately 15-20 minutes to...
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The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Infoxchange are working together to advance digital inclusion and technology for social justice as key public policy issues. Together they are published Measuring Australia's Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2018. First...
There is a range of Queensland Government rebates and concessions to support households to manage their electricity costs. Do you, your clients or someone you know have a valid concession card which could give you access to a $340 per year electricity rebate? Make sure you're not missing out. Phone...
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Conversations are happening across the state to develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Action Plan. The Department of Housing and Public Works need your views and ideas to help shape this plan and provide better housing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples...
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This week marks Anti-Poverty Week 2018 (14 to 20 October 2018), a week where all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas. It was established in Australia as an expansion of the UN's...
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The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has revamped it's energy price comparison website Energy Made Easy. The aim of Energy Made Easy is to help residential and small business energy consumers to navigate the often complex electricity and gas retail markets to find a suitable energy offer. This...
Women face specific challenges when it comes to managing their money. Many women take time out of the paid workforce to care for others, which reduces their retirement savings. With a longer life expectancy than men, this often puts women in a particularly vulnerable position when it comes to their...
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Queensland Government media release Funding of up to $10,000 is available to community groups interested in protecting our region’s drinking water catchments, as part of the annual Water for Life community grants program. Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said...
Did you know community based organisations can apply for funding to employ a trainee within your organisation? Funding is still available under the First Start program in 2017-18 for not-for-profit organisations to offer opportunities to young people and disadvantaged job seekers to gain nationally...

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation representing individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. ACCAN focuses on goods and services in telecommunications...
The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. They are committed to providing an effective, efficient and confidential service for residential and small business...
Foresters Community Finance is an ethical lender with a mission to use money for the financially excluded. They lend up to $4,000 to individuals who cannot access finance elsewhere at reasonable rates. Foresters provide fast and affordable loans to people and organisations to help them take control...
Good Shepherd Microfinance is Australia's largest microfinance organisation. They offer a range of people-centred, affordable financial programs for people on low incomes at different financial stages of their lives. Their aim is to enable clients to realise their own economic wellbeing, as they...
Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
The Financial Counsellors' Association of Queensland is the peak professional body representing the membership of 74 Financial Counsellors throughout inner city, suburban and regional Queensland. The FCAQ is also a not for profit organisation whose members provide a fee and accessible financial...
The Queensland Government has launched a website to provide information on all the concessions and rebates available to assist eligible households in Queensland with the cost of living. For more information visit the Smart Savings website. As at October 2017, the following subsidy programs and...
QCOSS has held a number of webinars on various topics related to the Cost of Living. You can watch a recording of the webinars or download a copy of the presentations. Energy literacy webinar This webinar covers everything you need to know about energy bills including how to read a bill, what the...
QCOSS has developed a number of energy factsheets which you can print to hand out to clients. The factsheets cover various topics such as energy saving tip, what to do if you can't pay an energy bill, and tips on comparing energy offers and plans. To download these factsheets, click here .
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIFW) published Australia's Welfare in October 2017. The report provides an authoritative overview of the wellbeing of Australians, examining a wide range of relevant topics. Read the report here.
Saver Plus is Australia's largest and longest running matched savings and financial education program, delivered locally by community organisations in 60 locations across Australia. The program assists individuals and families on lower incomes to develop long-term saving habits and reach a savings...
The Queensland Government's Financial Resilience program can help you improve your financial knowledge, access affordable financial products and manage the factors that are contributing to your financial difficulties. Financial resilience workers and counsellors can provide financial education and...
ASIC's MoneySmart website has a range of resources to help Australians take steps to improve their personal finances. They offer free, independent guidance to help people make the most of their money. The site includes financial calculators and tools, how to get your money organised, tips on what...
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has published a factsheet to help consumers understand the circumstances in which they will get a smart meter under new rules to expand competition in metering from December 2017. The factsheet also explains how consumers will be affected when a smart meter is...
Legal Aid have a series of captioned recordings about Legal Aid Queensland services on their YouTube channel . Videos for community, health and education workers can be found here and include their published community legal education webinars. Upcoming webinars can be found on the Information for...
Essentials by AAI has partnered with Good Shepherd Microfinance to offer insurance for people who might not have the money for mainstream insurance. They offer specific benefits for people who are on low incomes: Affordable premiums Payments deducted directly from Centrelink benefits Fortnightly...

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The National Energy Customer Framework (NECF), was introduced to Queensland on 1 July 2015. NECF is a set of national laws, rules and regulations governing the sale and supply of energy (electricity and reticulated natural gas) to consumers. It was developed under cooperative arrangements between...
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