When things get tough

Sometimes life can take an unexpected turn. If you're experiencing difficulties making your payments, please talk to us as soon as you can. We can help work though arrangements with you to find the best possible solution.

What is Payment Difficulty?

You may experience payment difficulty as a residential customer when you have the intention to pay your accounts, but don't have the financial capacity to meet your payment requirements. Payment difficulty can be either temporary or long-term.

Momentum Energy works proactively with financial counsellors to identify customers experiencing payment difficulty. We can assist you with a range of support mechanisms and access to educational tools.

Because the laws and regulations which govern how we sell you energy differ from state to state, the assistance we can provide you depends on where your supply address is located.

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Additional assistance for customers in Victoria

Getting assistance

We know energy bills can make life difficult. We also understand that it can be uncomfortable to speak to someone when you’re struggling with financial issues. But please, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us - we promise to be discreet and respectful. There are different levels of assistance available, depending on whether you owe more or less than $55.

You only need to provide information you’re comfortable sharing and where possible we make assistance available online so you can get help without having to speak to anyone. If you do speak to us directly, we’ll talk with you about factors that may be contributing to your financial position, at a level you feel comfortable with. From this discussion, and based on your circumstances, we’ll help you develop a sustainable payment solution. You’re also able to authorise someone to call on your behalf.

The type of assistance you can receive varies depending on your circumstances, but at the very least, you’ll receive the assistance that you are entitled to under the Victorian Energy Retail Code.

Your responsibilities

The assistance we can provide is based on a model of shared responsibility. We’re happy to help you while you do what you can to try to manage your energy usage and payments. To ensure the help that we provide you is the most effective it’s important that you agree:

  • to work with us to determine your ability to pay and develop a payment solution
  • to pay the amounts set out in any agreed payment schedule in full and on time
  • to tell us if there’s any change in your circumstances that may impact your ability to make payments
  • to keep us updated with your latest details
  • to have meaningful discussions with us, as part of our review process
  • to complete an energy audit of your premises, if requested
  • to work with external agencies, if required
  • to work with us to lower your energy costs and usage. (For some useful information, view these energy saving tips).

If the arrangements we agree no longer suit you, it’s important that you let us know. If you stop making agreed repayments without contacting us about it, we may proceed towards debt collection and possibly disconnection. We will not cease to provide assistance as long as you continue to engage with us unless it becomes apparent that you are no longer facing payment difficulties.

If you’d also like to look at your historical usage and perhaps identify periods where you use more energy, we’re happy to provide it to you. Please visit our support section.

Types of assistance

If you’re up to date with your payments but could use some help staying on top of things, we have a range of options which could help. These include:

  • Payments of a set amount over a specified time period
  • Payments at different intervals
  • Extension of the pay by date for a bill
  • Payment for energy use in advance.

This type of assistance can be offered by all of our customer facing team members, so just call 1300 662 778 to discuss any of these options.

If you’ve missed a payment, we’ll work with you to pay your debt.

Depending on the type of help you need, our assistance may include:

  • Repayment of arrears over a period of up to two years, paying in regular intervals of up to one month
  • Advice on options that will enable you to repay your arrears within two years Specific advice on your likely future energy use/cost and how this could be lowered
  • Advice on Government and non-Government assistance to help meet energy costs (including payment by Centrepay if applicable). See below for more information on Emergency Financial Aid and the Utility Relief Grant Scheme (URGS).

If you’re unable to pay for the ongoing cost of your energy while you repay any amounts owing we can also provide:

  • Practical assistance to help lower energy costs, including an initial period of at least 6 months during which:
    • repayment of arrears is put on hold, and
    • you can pay less than full cost of your ongoing energy use while you work on lowering that cost, and
    • other assistance which meets the objectives of this policy is provided.

During this time we’ll also ensure that you’re on the most appropriate tariff, provide assistance based on your pattern of energy use and give you information on how you’re progressing towards lowering your energy costs.

We may also look at options for conducting energy audits via telephone or in your home and, where it will make a material reduction to your bills, discuss options to help replace inefficient appliances. These options may require you to contribute financially, but we’ll factor this in when discussing your broader payment arrangements.

Depending on your circumstances, you may have to pay for your ongoing usage while receiving assistance of this nature, or you may be able to pay less than the full amount if that’s what you can afford. In some circumstances we may be able to extend the assistance provided beyond the initial six-month period. Either way, after the initial six month period and any extension, you are still entitled to the other assistance we can provide under this section.

If you miss a payment in the period where you’re paying below the cost of your energy use, we’ll contact you to discuss your options. If during this period you’re having trouble implementing measures to reduce your costs we can discuss those too. It’s important to note that the difference between what you pay and the actual cost of your usage will be added to your arrears.

We have experience in helping many different customers who’ve had trouble paying their bills, so we’ll offer you the payment arrangement we think will be most helpful to you. If this is not the case, or you miss a payment, you can propose an alternative which we’ll accept if it:

  • includes paying equal amounts at regular intervals of up to one month
  • will result in your arrears being fully paid within 2 years after the first payment
  • includes payments for both ongoing energy use and arrears, and
  • is based on a reasonable forecast of your energy use.

To ensure you’re clear about your obligations, we’ll send you a written schedule of payments which reflect the arrangement we have agreed to.

Emergency financial aid

If you are experiencing payment difficulty you may be able to receive additional financial assistance. One such organisation that may help with this is the National Debt Helpline (NDH). Visit the NDH Website or call the helpline on 1800 007 007.

Utility Relief Grant Scheme (URGS)

The Utility Relief Grant Scheme provides assistance if you do not have the capacity to pay your current electricity bill due to a sudden or temporary financial crisis and you are at risk of disconnection of supply due to non-payment.

You may only apply through the scheme once every 2 years for your electricity account.

To be eligible for this concession, you must hold a valid concession card or be registered with Momentum’s hardship program. Valid concession cards include:

  • Pensioner Concession Cards issued by Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Health Care Cards issued by Centrelink
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Repatriation Health Cards.

Need further information?

There are many organisations out there that may be able to help, including the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). ASIC’s MoneySmart website has some useful information that may also provide you with assistance. Alternatively, you can call their National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.