Are you a public housing tenant who has been impacted by the Vulcan/Pyrox gas heater recall?
If so, here’s an update:
- All 6,525 gas heaters are on track to be disconnected by the end of this month.
- Completing the installation of new heaters is going to take longer and is expected to be finished before the start of winter next year.
- If you are a tenant who has had your gas heater disconnected and have had to use a temporary heater you will receive a $302 lump-sum rent reduction to compensate for the disruption to your heating, and to help pay for your increased energy bills.
- The department will send more details about the rent reduction once they have completed tenants’ assessments.
- If you pay your rent by direct debit, the amount of rent you would normally pay will be automatically adjusted – you won’t need to take any action at all.
- If you pay rent at the post office, you will be told by the department the amount of adjusted rent you will need to pay.
- If your energy bill comes directly out of your bank account, you can contact your energy provider to change billing arrangements temporarily. If you have any difficulty with this, you can contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman on 1800 500 509, who will help negotiate with your provider.
- To help pay for energy bills, many tenants will also qualify for the Annual Electricity Concession and Utility Relief Grants – for more information on these options, visit https://services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/concessions-and-benefits or call 1800 658 521.
- We recommend tenants also call their energy provider to check if they’re on the best plan. While on the phone, the provider can also check if you’re eligible for energy concessions or grants.
- Tenants can also receive $50 just by visiting https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/ and checking if you’re on the best energy deal.
- We strongly recommend tenants keep their gas and electricity bills from 1 May 2018 and those for the same period last year, should you wish to claim an amount higher than that on offer.
If you have any more concerns or questions, please contact the Housing Call Centre on 1800 148 426.