Has your business been impacted by the COVID-19 “lockdowns”? Let’s be serious, unless you are a bank, everyone has been impacted.
It is still a moving feast, but there are a range of relief programs starting to be announced. Most retailers are not offering anything beyond standard Payment Plans and Hardship Provisions, but some are offering “blend and extend” agreements. A Blend and Extend is where you are on a contract that has been in place for some time, that is well above current market rates, and still has a year or more to run. Retailers will renegotiate the rates based on the current contract, and future year pricing, and implement a more favorable rate NOW, not when contract expires. In return, Customers extend their contracts. You don’t get out of paying, it just spreads the cost over the term of the new contract term to deliver immediate cashflow improvements.
It has recently been announced that some networks will be rebating the network charge component of bundled tariffs for Electricity and Gas for SME customers from April to June, and Large Customers impacted by the current economy who go on payment plans or hardship arrangements can have their network charges deferred. At this stage, participating Networks include Citipower, Powercor Australia, United Energy, Australian Gas Networks, TransGrid, Endeavour Energy, Ausgrid, Essential Energy, Jemena, SA Power Networks, Multinet Gas Networks, ElectraNet and AusNet Services.
In QLD, again targeting SME and Residential customers, the Household Utility Assistance Program will deliver a rebate of up to $200 for each Residential customer and up to $500 for Small Business Customers.