Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor wants power companies to cut struggling customers some slack. Image by Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS

Energy

Virus-hit Aussies helped over power bills

2020-03-21 10:01:38

Australians struggling to pay power bills because of coronavirus are set to get a helping hand from energy giants.

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor will host a teleconference with his state counterparts on Friday where coronavirus will be the main concern.

Mr Taylor has asked energy companies to extend hardship policies to people impacted by COVID-19, such as those who have contracted it or whose business have taken a hit.

“They have assured me they will do exactly that,” he told ABC radio.

The meeting’s agenda will also cover ways of limiting the risk of infection within the energy workforce, ensuring supply continues and coordinating emergency management powers.

Mr Taylor has also urged petrol stations to pass on savings to customers from a drop in oil prices.

“It’s crucial that we call out those petrol stations that are not doing the right thing and we don’t use them,” he said.

“$1.10 is a good benchmark – customers should be looking for that.”

The Australian Energy Council and Energy Networks Australia are also working to ensure the lights will stay on.

“Every part of the energy supply chain will face challenges, which is why we are ensuring we keep communicating between businesses, with government and importantly with customers,” Energy Networks Australia chief Andrew Dillon said.