Anne Armansin literally helps people keep the lights on.

Clients come to volunteer Anne because they’re either about to have their electricity disconnected, or their energy bills are overwhelming them.

She in turn helps them by working hard to develop a solution that meets their needs by using her extensive energy industry experience. She does this by carefully analysing their overdue bills, calculating the average household usage, negotiating with energy providers to set up affordable payments, and making sure each family or individual can keep their lights on.

Based at the Inala Family Support Centre, Anne’s good work over the past two years as a volunteer embodies the Vinnies Queensland vision of offering a hand-up to families in need in the local community.

“In some cases people have had essential things that cost a lot of money that have prevented them from paying their electricity bill, like health problems, purchasing a large appliance, car repairs or tyres needing replacing,” she says.

“Knowing the industry intimately allows me to do the very best that we can for people who are marginalised and in trouble.”

Anne says she finds volunteering her skills and knowledge is highly rewarding. “To come here and volunteer and to be able to use the skills that I have developed over many years, to help even one person, I find it extremely satisfying.”  

As well as helping access hardship programs offered by energy providers, Anne also gives budgeting and energy efficiency advice.

“I’ve had people come in for help who owe a couple of thousand dollars to an energy company and they’ve left with their power on, and an arrangement of regular bill payments of $20 per fortnight,” she says.

“I think the savings that we offer the customer, the charity, the energy company and the government in keeping people housed and helping them to get out of the poverty trap that so many are caught in is such a positive thing, and worthy of funding from both governments and energy companies.”

For a full copy of Making a Difference - Autumn 2018 please click here

To donate to the Vinnies Autumn Appeal 2018 please click here