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AGL just whacked $150 off firefighters' bills

MALLACOOTA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 03: The HMAS Choules docked outside of Mallacoota this morning to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the remote coastal town following fires across East Gippsland which have killed one person and destroyed dozens of properties. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Energy retailer AGL has announced it would reduce $150 off the power bills of all volunteer firefighters.

The offer includes both electricity and gas for firefighters who are already with AGL.

"This goodwill gesture is our way of supporting these heroes who have been saving lives and property by fighting the bushfires which are having such a devastating impact on our communities," said AGL customer advocate David Bland.

"We thank them for their bravery because without their tireless efforts, this disaster could be so much worse."

The move comes after Telstra offered to wipe the mobile phone bills of firefighters earlier this week, prompting its telco rivals Optus and Vodafone to do the same.

News Corp reported 45,000 AGL customers would be eligible for the firefighters' relief, with it costing $6.5 million in total if all of them applied.

Eligible AGL customers need to simply report their volunteer identification number to the company for the subsidy to appear on their next bill.

"We [know] that at a time like this, energy bills are probably the last things on the minds of volunteer firefighters," said Bland.

"But when they finally have time to think about their own position, they can contact AGL at their convenience on 13 12 45 because our customer service centres are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Similar to Telstra, AGL is also offering assistance to customers who are victims of the bushfires – by pausing their bills.

Bushfires continue to devastate much of eastern Australia, with NSW and Victoria expected to hit record temperatures and “catastrophic” conditions on Saturday.

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