AGL has re-vamped its Energy for Life Program and announced the roll out of a six-year program following research released today that identifies areas across Melbourne and Sydney most at risk of experiencing energy-related financial hardship. A paper explaining the revitalised program is also available.

"AGL has taken major steps over the past twelve months to structure an evidence-based community program, which incorporates leading research from AGL economists to help better target our community support on a demographic and geographic basis," said AGL's Managing Director and CEO, Mr Michael Fraser.

The demographic research, when overlaid with AGL's customer hardship data, has identified that households most 'at risk' of energy-related hardship typically occur in areas of rapid population growth where young families are moving into new homes.

"This unique research has enabled AGL to re-vamp its Energy for Life program, and commit to a six-year community program focused on building partnerships with those organisations dedicated to supporting households experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, energy-related financial hardship," said Mr Fraser.

AGL's integrated approach to its Energy for Life community program will target three core areas of intervention: crisis support; prevention and education; and resource and capacity building. These new areas of focus will complement AGL's existing hardship program, Staying Connected.

To mark its commitment to the community in its 175th year of operation, AGL will build stronger partnerships with The Smith Family, St Vincent de Paul, Cancer Council and the Burns Trust.

"AGL accepts a shared responsibility model across Governments, the private sector and community groups to respond to this real social challenge. We recognise that as an energy retailer we have a role to play and we're doing our best to understand and respond with action.

"That's why AGL has chosen to partner with community organisations like The Smith Family and St Vincent de Paul to provide support directly to families experiencing energy-related financial hardship. These vital organisations have direct contact with 'at risk' households every day, which ensures our community programs provide the right support, through the right delivery method, when and where it's needed," he said.

At an event held at the Hume Central Secondary College in Broadmeadows, which is an area identified as being at risk of having families in energy-related financial hardship, The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O'Brien and AGL's Michael Fraser met with local school children to announce the first partnership which aims to address prevention and education. It will support the education approximately 350 students over six years through The Smith Family's Learning for Life child sponsorships.

"Gone are the days of corporates simply writing cheques for unrelated charities. This is an integrated partnership in the true sense of the word," said Mr Fraser.

"Not only are we supporting students through The Smith Family's Learning for Life program, we are also building stronger links between our two organisations, through employee giving and volunteering opportunities.

"We are also proud to be supporting The Smith Family to undertake further research and longitudinal tracking to help build a better picture of where the Learning for Life program recipients end up in their journey into the workforce or further education," said Mr Fraser.

The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O'Brien said: "As a national children's charity, The Smith Family believes that education has the power to transform lives, not just minds. We are proud to partner with AGL to ensure more disadvantaged children can join our Learning for Life program and create better futures for themselves through education support."

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.