Bring your bills to the Peninsula Community Centre
A "Bring Your Bills Day and Community Expo" will be held at the Peninsula Community Centre in Woy Woy on October 24 from 9am to 3pm.
The Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW will offer help to residents who may be struggling to meet their energy or water bills.
The Ombudsman will be joined by other government service providers, including the Australian Tax Office, Central Coast Council, the Department of Human Services (Centrelink), Legal Aid Driver Reform Program, NSW Trustee and Guardian, Revenue NSW, Service NSW, and the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages,
Welfare and advocacy groups will also attend, including Central Coast Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army and Coast Community Connections.
Energy retailers AGL, Energy Australia, Origin Energy and Red Energy will also be there to assist their customers directly.
Customers of other energy retailers will be assisted by EWON.
"Increased living costs are a real concern for many families in the Woy Woy area, particularly rising electricity costs," said Coast Community Connections chief Mr Bruce Davis.
"Coast Community Connections is happy to support this initiative, which provides local residents support with affordability and related problems," he said.
Donated quality clothing, toiletries, books and grocery items will also be part of the support offered on the day, along with morning tea supplied by CWA Woy Woy and the Salvo's food van serving a light lunch.
Coast Community Connections staff and volunteers will be on hand to help residents navigate their way to the support they need.
Residents have been advised to bring along current and past energy and water bills, and any letters from retailers, Centrelink Health Cards, and any other concession cards.
A similar Bring your Bills day in April attracted 200 people, with issues ranging from tenancy problems, and financial and legal issues to outstanding fines and cancelled licences.
Ombudsman Ms Janine Young said: "Many people spoke to their energy retailer about affordable payment plans or other assistance, such as having rebates applied to their account or accessing Energy Account Payment Assistance."
"Talking to people at the event, I was moved by the individual stories and the need for ongoing assistance in this area.
"I was encouraged by how many people left with a sense of relief and a smile on their face," Ms Young said.
Media Release, 9 Oct 2019
Jacqui Heywood, Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW