AGL today announced a program under which it will provide $2 million of assistance to drought affected farmers.
The Farmers Assist program, which will be formally launched next month, will provide debt relief, power purchase agreements1 (PPAs) and subsidised solar energy systems to farmers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia who meet the program’s eligibility criteria.
“Farmers are enduring a drought unlike Australia has seen in many years,” AGL Interim Chief Customer Officer Mark Enzinger said.
“When farmers struggle, cash dries up in the rural towns and the impact on families can be heartbreaking.
“We know much more needs to be done.
“In the cities, it can be easy to forget that even in good times, living on the land can be tough.”
Mr Enzinger said AGL would offer farmers debt relief and free financial counselling if they are AGL customers and meet eligibility criteria.
“We will also help farmers who want to reduce energy costs by subsidising the cost of installing solar energy systems, even if they are not currently AGL customers,” he said.
“Farmers can purchase the systems outright, in which case the subsidy is applied to the upfront cost.
“If they do not have sufficient funds to pay for the systems up front, they can enter into PPAs and will receive an upfront credit on their solar bill.”
Mr Enzinger said farmers could apply for assistance when the Farmers Assist program was formally launched next month.
“We know energy companies can play a role in helping those who are struggling,” he said.
“Our Staying Connected Program helps identify those in need regardless of where they live.”
1 excludes Western Australia where AGL is not an electricity retailer
AGL is committed to helping shape a sustainable energy future for Australia. We operate the country’s largest electricity generation portfolio, we’re its largest ASX-listed investor in renewable energy, and we have 3.6 million customer accounts. Proudly Australian, with more than 180 years of experience, we have a responsibility to provide sustainable, secure and affordable energy for our customers. Our aim is to prosper in a carbon-constrained world and build customer advocacy as our industry transforms. That’s why we have committed to exiting our coal-fired generation by 2050 and why we will continue to develop innovative solutions for our customers.