On the back of an extended period of extreme heat, CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes’ financial counsellors are reminding people help is available for anyone who has problems paying their bills.
It is also a good time to start planning for the next electricity bill.
Financial Counselling and Capabitity Team Leader, Louise Cormie, said after a hot summer people can experience ‘bill shock’ when they open their mail.
There is the risk of disconnection, restriction or debt recovery if people cannot meet these higher bills.
“As we are approaching the next billing cycle it is important people act now,” Ms Cormie said.
“The first thing people can do is contact their energy provider’s hardship department to seek help and access assistance.
“It’s also a good idea to try to budget a little more each week to avoid unmanageable debt or disconnection.
“If you have been using appliances more, start planning for the next bill now.
“You can put a little more away each week in preparation otherwise we can help you contact your provider and ask about a payment plan to ensure essential services remain connected.”
CatholicCare’s financial counsellors give free advice to help you get your bills under control and can help you come up with a plan to sort out your money problems.
“Importantly when a customer is part of an assistance or hardship program, they are protected from disconnection and can work towards a realistic payment arrangement,” Ms Cormie said.
You can get in touch with CatholicCare’s financial counsellors on 6850 1777 or the 24hr hotline 1800 007 007.
For help online visit ndh.org.au