When the pandemic hit in March, Jemena needed to respond quickly to support the diverse needs of communities while continuing to provide essential gas and electricity services to more than 1.7 million people in New South Wales and Victoria.
Jemena collaborated with the energy sector to establish the Energy Network Relief Package to help take the pressure off household and small business energy bills by working with retailers to waive or defer their portion of eligible customers’ electricity bills. This reduced eligible customers' energy bills by around 30 per cent and is available in Victoria until 31 January 2021.
They also collaborated with the energy sector to establish the Small Retailer Relief Package for their New South Wales business customers. This package enabled eligible customers to request a deferral of up to three months from their retailer, meaning customer gas bills could be deferred until the end of March 2021.
They also established free over-the-phone home energy advice services for residential customers so they could understand their energy bills and check they were receiving all available concessions and discounts.
When Australians began working from home in March, Jemena immediately reduced the amount of scheduled planned outages and only did those that were performing essential work to maintain the reliability of their networks.
They also donated 300 recycled laptops to Vinnies Victoria and the Brotherhood of St Laurence to be given to families who were facing challenges home-schooling their children while schools were closed in Victoria. The laptops were rebuilt with pre-installed software which meant children could use them for online learning.
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