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Water bill help for new concession card holders

8 September 2020

North East Water is aware that many customers are experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Since the start of the outbreak, the Corporation has seen a steady rise in the number of people applying for assistance in paying their account.

Manager Customer Services, Deb Mackinlay, said for those experiencing financial difficulty, we want their water bill to be the least of their concerns.

“Many people who are new to unemployment might not know that concession card holders are entitled to reduced utility bills”, Ms Mackinlay said.

“A concession reduces a water bill considerably, however it needs to be registered on the account before it can be deducted.

“It’s an easy process – it can be done on our website or by calling our contact centre.”

Ms Mackinlay added, “We also have a number of other ways we can help through our hardship programs.”

“For instance, the Utility Relief Grant scheme is funded by the Victorian Government and allows customers to access up to $650 to go towards their bills.

“The scheme is available to concession card holders, but customers can also apply if they’re part of a low-income household.

“Additionally, we may be able to offer flexible payment plans or put people in touch with free, locally based financial councillors.

“During this period we have also stopped all supply restrictions measures for customers who cannot pay their bills.

“The most important message for customers is to let us know if they are having difficulty paying their account so we can work out the best way to help.”

North East Water’s support team is available via web chat, where customers can also request a callback. Or people can contact the team on 1300 361 633.