Utilities Literacy Program
Useful Utilities Links
At the Energy and Water Ombudsman SA our mission is to facilitate the prompt resolution of complaints and disputes between consumers of electricity, gas and water services and members of the scheme by providing a free, independent, accessible, fair and informal service to consumers. Our services are free to consumers.
The Utilities Literacy Program is an initiative of the South Australian Government, funded through the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion
The Utilities Literacy Program is an initiative of the South Australian Government, funded through the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion
Utilities Literacy Program

The Utilities Literacy Program is an initiative of the South Australian Government, funded through the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion. There are three strategies within the Utilities Literacy Program being delivered by various organisations through South Australia.

UnitingCare Wesley Country SA (UCWCSA) will deliver the Information Session Strategy of the Utilities Literacy Program to country regions of South Australia until 2016.

Strategy 1

Utilities Literacy Information Sessions strategy - delivered by UnitingCare Wesley Country SA and Uniting Communities.

Uniting Communities will be delivering a different style of information session to Adelaide metro/surrounds and Southern country SA. For more information contact Uniting Communities on 08 8202 5180 or utilitiesliteracy@unitingcommunities.org

At the UCWCSA sessions we will have representatives or information from organisations such as the Energy and Water Ombudsman SA, SA Water, Financial Counselling, Low Income Support, Legal Services Commission of SA amongst others, come along and speak to the represented organisations about matters relating to Utilities on the day.

There are no home visits or any further service to this strategy of the Utilities Literacy Program.

Watch this page for information on UCWCSA’s upcoming sessions.

For more information or to enquire about having your Organisation/Company represented at these sessions, contact the Utilities Literacy coordinator on 08 8633 8639 or via email at utilities.literacy@ucwcsa.org.au

Strategy 2

Utilities Literacy “Train the Trainer” strategy – UnitingCare Wesley Bowden will offer the “Train the Trainer” strategy

UnitingCare Wesley Bowden will offer the “Train the Trainer” strategy of the Utilities Literacy program. Through 2014 and 2015, UCWB will present 3-day training workshops, tailored for those people who support financially vulnerable members of the community – such as Community Workers, Emergency Relief Workers, and workers with CALD and Aboriginal communities.

Workshops will be presented across the state, with training offered in 16 regional towns and in the metropolitan area. Training will address electricity, gas and water costs, with participants taught how to decode bills and to read meters, how to approach the energy retail market and choose a better deal, and where to get help such as hardship programs, home energy audits and concessions. Participants will also learn about where energy is used in households, and how to save money through the principles of energy efficiency.

On completion, workshop graduates should be much better able to help their clients to take control of their energy and water expenses. They will be better equipped to spot billing errors, and to offer advice to clients about the likely causes of large bills.

Utilities Literacy graduates will be invited to join a network of other graduates, with whom they can discuss queries, case studies, and new information. Graduates will be supported by the program to mid-2016, so that they can create Utilities Power Points, confidently providing assistance and advice to those who struggle to afford electricity, gas and water bills.

Contact Heather Merran at UCWB on 08 8245 7175 for the latest on this initiative.

Strategy 3

Utilities Literacy Financial Counselling – Salvation Army will be delivering this strategy

The Salvation Army has qualified Financial Counsellors located within the city and country locations who are motivated to supporting and assisting people in financial difficulty through an appointment based service. Financial Counsellors can also be accessed through our Helpline Service from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm (except Public Holidays).

The team will work with people on a personal level to help address underlying issues that are impacting on individuals and their families. No matter how simple or complex the situation, the team can provide information, options, advise of rights and responsibilities, and strategies to manage their financial situation, especially the utility bills! The Financial Counsellors can provide advocacy services, negotiate with creditors, explain and provide information in a way that will increase the clients understanding, knowledge and most importantly keep them informed, supported and in control of the decision making processes.

To access information, support, referrals, or an appointment, call the Helpline on 1800 722 363.