Origin will review its products and services, develop new employee training and update its policies and procedures to better support customers experiencing financial hardship as a part of its first Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP).
Developed in partnership with Good Shepherd Microfinance, Origin’s FIAP includes 15 such commitments, to be delivered by December 2018, which will help to strengthen support for the most financially vulnerable members of the community.
"We are extremely proud of the support we provide customers who are having difficulty with their energy bills, but there is always more that can be done," said Jon Briskin, Executive General Manager, Retail, Origin.
"All Australians should be able to access affordable energy, and we’re empowering our people to make sure this happens so that that no customer is left behind."
"We are committed to working with government and industry to develop better support for vulnerable groups in our community, people affected by domestic violence and people in Indigenous, migrant and regional and remote communities."
In addition to new commitments outlined in the FIAP, Origin will continue to:
- Support customers through its Power On program, providing $15 million to customers in hardship this financial year. This program has been helping vulnerable customers for almost 15 years with personalised payment plans, matched incentive payments, energy efficiency audits and appliance replacement schemes.
- Freeze the impact of energy price rises for customers in its Power On program.
- Support regional and remote Indigenous communities through ‘Bring Your Bill’ days in partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) and the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW.
- Support investment in regional communities through the Regional Buy and Regional Spend program
- Provide price relief to concession customers in South Australia through partnership with SA Government.
"The launch of our first FIAP is an important milestone for Origin and we look forward to continuing to evolve our plan to best support those most in need."
"Developing this plan has helped us reflect on what we do well, identify areas where we can improve, and set goals in working with government and the rest of industry to address financial exclusion."
Origin’s plan outlines the actions we will take to create greater financial inclusion and build financial resilience across:
- Products and services
- Capabilities, attitudes and behaviours
- Awareness and understanding of culture and diversity
- Economic participation and status.
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