Electricity network operators offer relief plan for businesses effected by Covid-19

Network operators are offering to discount bills for small and medium businesses impacted by the crisis COVID-19 pandemic. This will provide some much-needed help for small businesses such as cafes and restaurants that have been forced to close their doors.

Network charges – charges for maintaining and upgrading power poles and wires – are passed onto energy retailers and ultimately consumers. Typically, these charges account for between 30 and 40 percent of household power bills.

Network owners in three states including AusNet, Powercor, Ausgrid, and SA Power Networks will heavily discount network charges for small and mid-sized businesses whose energy usage had fallen to 25 percent of ordinary levels due to the impact of the pandemic.

For small businesses that are closed, electricity and gas network charges will not be applied from the start of April to the end of June 2020, if their consumption is less than a quarter what it was in 2019.

Also in the relief package announced on Wednesday are waivers for disconnection and reconnection fees for distressed businesses, as well measures to support households facing financial strain caused by the pandemic by helping energy retailers provide them further assistance.

This is great news for small businesses needing to reduce their operational costs during a time of crisis.