Penrith Council and the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW will host a forum as part of Anti-Poverty Week today.
The forum will cover a range of topics, such as metering, the NSW Government’s Home Energy Action Plan, new technologies, battery storage and solar.
Stallholders will include government and community services, energy providers and other Ombudsman services.
The forum is aimed at frontline workers, community advocates, government and non-government workers and volunteers assisting low income and vulnerable consumers.
“Community workers provide an invaluable link between my office, other services and people experiencing affordability issues. It is very important that they receive up to date information about energy and water issues and the assistance available, so that they can support and inform their clients,” Energy and Water Ombudsman, Janine Young, said.
Mayor John Thain will open the forum.
“Here in Penrith, where we make the headlines for extremely hot summer days, any residents struggling to make ends meet are forced to choose between cooling their home or buying enough food. So, it’s fantastic to see a group of experts coming together at this event to provide information to help us support our residents,” Cr Thain said.
Complaints related to affordability issues accounted for 25 per cent of the all complaints EWON received from the outer Sydney area, which Penrith is part of. This is above the NSW average of 21 per cent.
“We know from our community engagement work and our complaints that people in Penrith and surrounding areas are finding it hard to pay their energy bills and we expect the situation to get worse as a result of the July 1, 2017 prices increases,” Ms Young said.