AGL has 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 in June 2019, will provide debt relief, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and subsidised solar energy systems to farmers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia who meet the eligibility criteria.
“Farmers are enduring a drought unlike Australia has seen in many years,” AGL’s 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 upfront, they can enter into PPA’s, where the subsidy is used to reduce the rate they pay for energy.”
Mr Enzinger said farmers could apply for assistance when the Farmers Assist program was formally launched in June.
“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.”