Leading energy infrastructure company, Jemena, is stepping up to the challenges posed by COVID-19 with the implementation of a Small Retailer Relief Package for Jemena’s New South Wales gas distribution network as well as an extension of the Energy Network Relief Package for customers of Jemena’s electricity network in Victoria.
Both packages will allow retailers to defer the payment of network charges and are designed to ensure that small retailers are able to provide immediate and targeted relief for residential and small business customers enduring hardship as a result of COVID-19.
New South Wales Small Retailer Relief Package
Jemena’s Managing Director, Frank Tudor, said Jemena has voluntarily implemented a Small Retailer Relief Package for its New South Wales gas distribution network which came into effect on 1 July 2020 and will run until 31 December 2020. The package allows participating small retailers to defer the distribution portion of eligible small business and residential customers’ gas bills for up to three months.
Mr Tudor said the package acknowledges the important role smaller retailers play in Australia’s energy market.
“We know customers benefit from the competition smaller retailers bring to the market, which helps to place downward pressure on energy bills and improve customer service,” said Mr Tudor.
“Our ambition is to help ensure these retailers are able to weather the impacts of COVID-19 so they can continue to operate and bring competition and choice to the market over the long-term.”
Mr Tudor said retailers participating in the program include: CovaU, GloBird Energy, Sumo Energy, and Click Energy. Customers of energy retailers not participating in the package are encouraged to discuss their individual circumstances with their energy retailer, noting many retailers offer financial relief and support as part of their hardship programs.
Jemena’s distribution charges account for between 35-40% of a typical household’s gas bill.
Network Relief Package extended to support customers of Jemena’s Electricity Network in Victoria
In Victoria, eligible customers of Jemena’s electricity distribution network – which delivers energy to over 360,000 customers across Melbourne’s north west – will continue to have their network charges deferred after the state’s five electricity distribution businesses voluntarily offered to extend the Energy Network Relief Package which commenced on 1 April 2020.
As part of the package’s extension, support will be provided to eligible Victorian customers for a further six months from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021 and applied to electricity bills issued in the period 1 September 2020 to 28 February 2021.
The Network Relief Package has already been extended once before from 30 June to 31 July 2020.