TV Group member attends seminar with Energy & Water Ombudsman

On 30th October I attended what I thought would be an information session on what steps could be taken 

1.To reduce energy usage in buildings that are not-so-new and occupied by tenants. 

2. and what modifications could be made to make buildings more environmentally friendly. 

Instead, the seminar was not focused on making tenanted buildings more environmentally sympathetic but resolving customer problems regarding energy i.e. gas or electricity and water with the provider, through the Ombudsman. 

Due to having previously worked for an Ombudsman Federal agency for a considerable amount of time, I had a practical understanding of the role of any particular industry Ombudsman.

The seminar proved to be very interesting and of value. 

I was the only tenant representative, the other attendees were representatives from tenancy agencies e.g. CWH, Link Housing, Bridge Housing, etc.

The agenda covered the role of the EWON (Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW), how the electricity system worked, what help was available for incorrect bills, case studies were included, meter access and issues, sustainable payment plans, shopping around for best energy deals, how to read and understand bills and water issues. 

Further and complete information is available via website. 

The web site is ewon.com.au        Contact EWON  - Free call – 1800 246 545

More particularly of relevance were the topics with specific information for tenants e.g. what support and advice can be given to tenants, hardship programs and assisting tenants to lower their energy and water bills. 

EWON consider and investigate complaints from community workers and advocates, energy & water customers and small businesses. 

There are rebates available e.g. low income rebate, NSW gas rebate, family energy rebate, life support rebate, medical energy rebate, Energy Account Payments Assistance (EAPA) Scheme. 

There also exists an Appliance Replacement offer (fridges or televisions) through ‘the Good Guys’ having partnered with the Community Housing Industry Association of NSW. 

I found the success of EWON in dealing with providers on behalf of customers in dispute situations, together with advice in sourcing providers and managing energy expenses very important to energy customers in NSW. 

TV member