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Victorian energy market retailer profiles 2015-16

Designed for consumers, the Victorian Energy Market Report 2015-16 provides information about each energy retailer active in the market for domestic and small business customers in Victoria.

Each retailer profile provides an overview of the retailer’s performance with regard to disconnections, complaints, customers facing payment difficulty and audits undertaken in 2015-16.

The profiles also include an assessment of the retailer’s published offers compared to the market as a whole.

Download a PDF of the Victorian Energy Market Retailer Profiles 2015-16.

Discover more about the Victorian Energy Market Report 2015-16.

AGL Sales Pty Ltd

agl-logo

AGL is a very large energy retailer, predominantly serving the residential market. AGL was issued an electricity retail licence in October 1994 as an incumbent supplier prior to the commencement of retail competition in the Victorian energy market in 2002. AGL was granted a gas retail licence in January 2001. AGL operates in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland and has significant interests in electricity generation with hydro, wind, solar, coal and gas generation assets. In late 2013 AGL acquired the energy retailer Australian Power and Gas Company Ltd and transferred its 100,000 Victorian customers to AGL. AGL also owns Powerdirect. AGL Sales is part of the broader AGL Energy group, which is an ASX listed company.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 AGL disconnected 10,028 domestic electricity and 6,977 domestic gas customers for non-payment. AGL reported 34 wrongful disconnections in 2015-16. All incidents were isolated and no systemic issues were found. Wrongfully disconnected individuals were reconnected and provided with a compensation payment.

Complaints

AGL reported 16,534 billing complaints and 25,260 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 3.78 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

AGL had 11,299 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 7,305 participants in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $1442 to $2155 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 12 months.

Audit

AGL Sales was subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors found AGL to be generally compliant in 11 of 12 areas. AGL were graded partially compliant on provision of performance indicators. The auditor recommended two minor changes, one of which was accepted by AGL and one was rejected. The Commission will continue to monitor AGL’s compliance.

Published offers

AGL was in the lower range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. AGL was in the upper range of overall domestic gas offers published during this period.

ESC_StateEnergyMarket2015-16_GraphSupply_AGL_3ESC_StateEnergyMarket2015-16_GraphSupply_AGL_4

Alinta Energy Retail Sales Pty Ltd

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Alinta Energy is a medium sized energy retailer predominantly serving the residential sector. Alinta was issued retail licences for electricity and gas in February 2012 and began operation in May that year. Alinta has retail operations in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia as well as electricity generation and gas pipelines along the eastern sea board. It is part of the larger entity Alinta Limited which is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital. In late 2014 Alinta acquired the retailer Neighbourhood Energy Pty Ltd and transitioned its customers to its own customer base, adding over 20 000 residential connections in Victoria.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Alinta disconnected 454 domestic electricity customers and 1622 domestic gas customers for non-payment. Alinta reported 30 wrongful disconnections. Six of these were identified by Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria as a systemic issue relating to Alinta’s billing process for deemed customers. Alinta reported this issue and agreed to a remediation plan to identify any further customers entitled to payments.

Complaints

Alinta reported 2,662 billing complaints and 2,105 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about four billing complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Alinta had 800 customers participating in its hardship policy in June 2016. This reduced from 1048 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $588 to $833 during the year. On average customers remained in the hardship program for four months.

Audit

During 2015-16 Alinta Energy was subject to a regulatory audit which examined their compliance with a range of regulatory requirements. The auditors found Alinta to be generally compliant on ten of 11 areas of assessment. The auditors provided suggestions for improvement in six of these areas, which Alinta accepted. Alinta was graded as partially compliant on its provision of performance indicator data and the Commission is monitoring its remediation efforts.

Published offers

Alinta was in the lower range of domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16 and the middle range of domestic gas offers.

Blue NRG Pty Ltd

blue-nrg-logo

Blue NRG is a medium sized electricity retailer mainly serving the business sector. Blue NRG was granted an electricity retail licence in March 2012, and commenced operations in July 2012. Blue NRG has retail operations in both Victoria and New South Wales.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Blue NRG did not disconnect electricity customers for non-payment.

Complaints

Blue NRG reported 29 billing complaints and 50 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 1.06 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

As a primarily business sector retailer, Blue NRG did not have any customers experiencing payment difficulties during 2015-16.

Audit

Blue NRG will be subject to a general compliance audit in 2016-17.

Published offers

Blue NRG was in the lower range of overall small business electricity offers published in 2015-16.

Click Energy Pty Ltd

click-energy-logo

Click Energy is a medium sized energy retailer, predominantly serving the residential sector. Click Energy was granted a retail licence for electricity in June 2006, a retail licence for gas in December 2014, and commenced operations in January 2007. Click Energy has retail operations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Click Energy is a subsidiary of Click Energy Group Holdings Pty Ltd. This group is owned by a number of Australian and overseas private equity investment companies. The four most significant investors in this structure include US based Angeleno Group, Swiss based Robeco Sam, as well as Australian based Cleantech Australia and ES Link.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Click Energy disconnected 445 domestic electricity and 52 domestic gas customers for non-payment. Nine wrongful disconnections by Click Energy were reported to the Commission in 2015-16. Six were self-identified while three were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. Click Energy undertook remedial actions, and customers were reconnected and provided with compensation payments.

Complaints

Click Energy reported 295 billing complaints and 192 other complaints in 2015- 16. This is an average of about 1.08 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Click Energy had 256 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 119 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program fell from $958 to $880 during the 2015-16 financial year.

Audit

Click Energy was subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors graded Click Energy as generally compliant in all 12 areas. The auditor recommended Click undertake two measures in relation to their procedure documentation, both recommendations were accepted by Click. The Commission will continue to monitor compliance.

Published offers

Click Energy was in the upper-to-middle range of overall domestic electricity and gas offers published in 2015-16.

CovaU Pty Ltd

covau-logo

CovaU is a small energy retailer serving mainly the business sector. CovaU were granted electricity and gas retail licences in February 2015, and commenced operations in April 2015. CovaU have retail operations in Victoria and New South Wales. CovaU is a fully owned subsidiary of TPC Consolidated. TPC Consolidated hold interests in telecommunications, including operation of mobile networks. TPC Consolidated is an ASX listed company.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 CovaU disconnected nine electricity and 10 gas customers for non-payment. CovaU did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

CovaU reported 80 billing complaints and 59 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 22.14 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

CovaU had 1 participant in its hardship program in June 2016. On average customers remained in the program for 2 weeks.

Audit

CovaU has not been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16.

Published offers

CovaU was in the middle to lower range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. CovaU was in the highest range of overall domestic gas offers published during this period.

Diamond Energy Pty Ltd

diamond-energy-logo

Diamond Energy is a small electricity retailer, predominantly serving the residential sector. Diamond Energy was granted an electricity retail licence in October 2007, and commenced operations in July 2008. Diamond Energy has retail operations in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Diamond Energy has interests in renewable energy generation, with investments in solar, wind, wave and biogas electricity generation.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Diamond disconnected five electricity customers for non- payment. Diamond Energy did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

Diamond Energy reported 18 billing complaints and 17 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 0.84 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Diamond Energy had three participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from two in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program fell from $859 to $789 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 4 months.

Audit

Diamond Energy has not been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16.

Published offers

Diamond Energy was in the middle to lower range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. Diamond Energy was in the upper range of overall small business electricity offers published during this period.

EnergyAustralia

energy-australia-logo

EnergyAustralia is a large energy retailer. It is the successor to the incumbent electricity supplier TXU Ltd. CLP Power Asia purchased TXU’s retail business in 2005 and renamed it TRUenergy. In 2011 TRUenergy acquired EnergyAustralia; the NSW Government owned retail business. The following year TRUenergy changed its name to EnergyAustralia. EnergyAustralia has retail operations in Victoria, ACT, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. EnergyAustralia has significant electricity generation interests in coal, gas, solar, and wind. EnergyAustralia is owned by CLP Group which has energy assets in China, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 EnergyAustralia disconnected 6645 electricity and 3896 gas customers for non-payment. 117 wrongful disconnections by EnergyAustralia were reported to the Commission in 2015-16. 59 were identified within the business, 11 were identified by customers and the rest by the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria. 34 of these were found to have been caused by two separate systemic errors. EnergyAustralia undertook remediation for these issues and compensated customers who were wrongfully disconnected.

Complaints

EnergyAustralia reported 14 577 billing complaints and 5899 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 2.11 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

EnergyAustralia had 6958 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was down from 6974 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $1163 to $1183 during the 2015 16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 11 months.

Audit

EnergyAustralia was subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors graded EnergyAustralia as generally compliant in six areas, partially complaint in four and non-compliant in outsourcing. The auditors raised concerns about EnergyAustralia’s management and oversight of outsourced vendors. The Commission noted that compliance issues which were first raised in 2013 had not been addressed. The Commission will continue to monitor EnergyAustralia’s compliance.

Published offers

EnergyAustralia was in the middle-to-lower range of overall domestic electricity offers and the upper range of gas offers published in 2015-16.

ERM Power Retail Pty Ltd

erm-business-energy-logo

ERM Power is a medium sized energy retailer, exclusively serving the business sector. ERM was granted an electricity retail licence in October 2007 and a gas retail licence in December 2013, and commenced operations in June 2008. ERM has retail operations in Victoria, ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. ERM has gas fired energy generation capacity. In 2015 ERM entered the US energy market by acquiring Texas based Source Power and Gas. ERM Power Limited is an ASX listed company.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 ERM Power did not disconnect any gas or electricity customers. ERM Power did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

ERM reported 37 billing complaints and 51 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 1.33 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

ERM did not report any customers being placed into their hardship program in 2015-16.

Audit

ERM has not been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16.

Published offers

ERM’s published offers did not provide sufficient detail for analysis of their relative position.

Globird Energy Pty Ltd

globird-energy-logo

Globird is a small electricity retailer, predominantly serving the residential sector. Globird was granted an electricity retail licence in May 2015 and commenced operations in July 2015. Globird currently only operates in Victoria.

Disconnections

Globird did not report any disconnections for 2015-16. Globird did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

Globird reported five billing complaints and 59 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 4.13 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Globird Energy did not report any customers being placed into their hardship program in 2015-16.

Audit

Globird will be subject to a general compliance audit in 2016-17.

Published offers

Globird was in the lowest range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. Globird was in the middle range of overall small business electricity offers published during this period.

Lumo Energy Pty Ltd

lumo-energy-logo

Lumo is a large energy retailer, predominantly serving the residential sector. Lumo was granted an electricity retail licence in August 2002 and a gas retail licence in December 2004. Lumo commenced operations in May 2004. Lumo has energy retail operations in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. Lumo was formerly named Victoria Energy and was owned by Infratil until it was sold to Snowy Hydro in 2014. Snowy Hydro is jointly held by the NSW, Victorian and Australian Government, and has significant generating capacity in hydro and gas as well as an established retail energy business in Red Energy.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Lumo disconnected 1479 domestic electricity and 3344 domestic gas customers for non-payment. 63 wrongful disconnections by Lumo were reported to the Commission in 2015-16. Six were identified by customers and 57 were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. One breach was found to be systemic, the remaining 62 were isolated.

Complaints

Lumo reported 5354 billing complaints and 5239 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 2.80 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Lumo had 1017 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was down from 1204 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $726 to $3212 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 7 months.

Audit

Lumo was subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors found Lumo to be generally compliant in 9 areas and partially complaint in 2. The audit identified a number of issues with Lumo’s processes in managing undercharged accounts amongst other things. The auditors made a number of recommendations which Lumo has accepted. The Commission will continue to monitor compliance.

Published offers

Lumo was in the middle to upper range of overall domestic electricity and gas offers published in 2015-16.

M2 Energy Pty Ltd (Dodo, Commander)

dodo-commander-logo

M2 is a medium sized energy retailer, mainly serving the residential sector. M2 trades as Dodo Power & Gas, and also as Commander. M2 was granted electricity and gas retail licences in September 2007, and commenced operations in April 2008. M2 has retail operations in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. M2 merged with Vocus Communications Ltd in early 2016, the combined entity has interests in telecommunications including fibre networks. Vocus continues to trade as Dodo and Commander. Vocus is an ASX listed company.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 M2 Energy disconnected 106 electricity and 154 gas customers for non-payment. 10 wrongful disconnections by M2 were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria in 2015-16. Three were determined to be isolated incidents, while seven were found to be systemic, as reminder notices had been sent without a date of issue. M2 undertook remedial actions and all customers were compensated.

Complaints

M2 Energy reported 1631 billing complaints and 688 other complaints in 2015- 16. This is an average of about 2.51 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

M2 Energy had 839 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 646 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $926 to $1010 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for seven months.

Audit

M2 were subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors found M2 to be generally compliant in three areas and partially compliant in eight areas. The auditors made a number of recommendations which M2 accepted. The Commission will continue to monitor compliance.

Published offers

As Dodo, M2 Energy was in the lowest range of overall domestic electricity and gas offers published in 2015-16.

Momentum Energy Pty Ltd

momentum-energy-logo

Momentum is a medium sized energy retailer, serving both the residential and business sectors. Momentum was granted an electricity retail licence in January 2005 and a gas retail licence in October 2007. Momentum commenced operations in January 2005. Momentum has energy retail operations in Victoria, ACT, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Momentum is owned by Hydro Tasmania, which is owned by the Tasmanian Government. Hydro Tasmania holds significant generating capacity in hydro, gas and wind in several states.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Momentum Energy disconnected 796 electricity and 210 gas customers for non-payment. Thirteen wrongful disconnections by Momentum were reported to the Commission in 2015-16. All disconnections were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria.

Complaints

Momentum reported 402 billing complaints and 449 other complaints in 2015- 16. This is an average of about 0.73 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Momentum had 753 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 439 in July 2015. The average debt of participants was $264 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for five months.

Audit

Momentum Energy was subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors found Momentum to be generally compliant in nine areas and partially compliant in two. The auditors noted inaccuracies in performance data reports and some issues in compliance reporting and training. Momentum implemented improvements to address these issues and the Commission will continue to monitor compliance.

Published offers

Momentum was in the lower range of overall domestic electricity and gas offers published in 2015-16.

Next Business Energy Pty Ltd

next-logo

Next Business Energy is a small electricity retailer, mainly serving the business sector. Next was granted an electricity retail licence in November 2014 and commenced operations in January 2015. Next has energy retail operations in both Victoria and New South Wales.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Next Business Energy did not disconnect any electricity or gas customers. Next Business Energy did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

Next Business Energy reported six billing complaints and three other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 0.8 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Next Business Energy did not report any customers being placed into their hardship program in 2015-16.

Audit

Next Business Energy has not been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16.

Published offers

Next Business Energy was in the lower to middle range of overall small business electricity offers published in 2015-16.

Online Power and Gas Pty Ltd

online-power-and-gas-logo

Online Power and Gas is a small electricity retailer, serving both the residential and business sectors. Online Power and Gas were granted an electricity retail licence in December 2014, and commenced operations in February 2015. Online Power and Gas currently only operates in Victoria.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Online Power and Gas disconnected 230 electricity customers for non-payment. Online Power and Gas did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

Online Power and Gas reported 57 billing complaints and 232 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 4.71 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Online Power and Gas had 10 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from one in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program fell from $2530 to $1262 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for one month.

Audit

Online Power and Gas has been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16. Online Power and Gas were found to be generally compliant in four areas, partially compliant in seven areas, and non-compliant in one area. Online Power and Gas has accepted all recommendations for improvement. The Commission will continue to monitor Online Power and Gas’ compliance.

Published offers

Online Power and Gas was in the middle to lower range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. Online Power and Gas was in upper range of overall small business electricity offers published during this period.

Origin Energy

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Origin Energy is a very large energy retailer, predominantly serving the residential sector. Origin was granted an electricity retail licence in November 1995 and a gas retail licence in December 1997. Origin commenced operations prior to the Victorian energy market being opened to competition in 2002. Origin has energy retail operations in Victoria, ACT, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. Origin is an ASX listed company and has significant interests in gas power generation and exploration and distribution, as well as thermal coal, solar, wind, geothermal and hydro. Origin was created when the energy business of Boral Limited was split from the building and construction materials business in 2000.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Origin disconnected 5,711 domestic electricity and 3,916 domestic gas customers for non-payment. 214 wrongful disconnections by Origin were reported to the Commission in 2015- 16. Sixty-three were self-reported, two were identified by customers and 149 were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. Two breaches were found to be systemic, caused by a failure in the billing system to account for a public holiday, the remainder were isolated. Origin undertook remedial actions and compensated the customers affected.

Complaints

Origin reported 111 609 billing complaints and 118 240 other complaints in 2015- 16. This is an average of about 22.63 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Origin had 5164 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 5004 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program fell from $812 to $582 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 10 months.

Audit

Origin was subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors found Origin to be generally compliant in 6 areas, partially compliant in three and not compliant in one area. The auditors found problems with Origin’s reporting against Energy Retail Performance Indicators, billing practices and some marketing issues. Origin implemented improvements to address these issues and the Commission was generally satisfied with Origin’s response.

Published offers

Origin was in the middle range of domestic electricity offers and the upper range of domestic gas offers published in 2015-16.

Pacific Hydro Retail Pty Ltd

pacific-hydro-logo

Pacific Hydro is a small electricity retailer specialising in the business sector. Pacific Hydro was granted an electricity retail licence in August 2012 limiting it to medium and large customers, and commenced operations in February 2013. In 2014 the licence was varied to allow it to retail to small customers. Pacific Hydro has energy retail operations in both Victoria and South Australia. Pacific Hydro holds wind and hydro generating capacity in Australia as well as internationally. Previously owned by IFM Investors, Pacific Hydro was acquired by China’s State Power Investment Corporation in January 2016.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Pacific Hydro did not disconnect any electricity customers. Pacific Hydro did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

Pacific Hydro reported one billing complaint and no other complaints in 2015- 16.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Pacific Hydro did not report any customers being placed into their hardship program in 2015-16.

Audit

Pacific Hydro has not been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16.

Published offers

Pacific Hydro was in the middle range of overall small business and the upper range of domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16.

People Energy Pty Ltd

people-energy-logo

People Energy is a medium sized electricity retailer, predominantly serving the residential sector. People Energy was granted an electricity retail licence in November 2012 and commenced operations in March 2013. People Energy currently only operates in Victoria.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 People Energy disconnected 222 electricity customers for non- payment. Two wrongful disconnections by People Energy were reported to the Commission in 2015-16. Both were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. The disconnections were not systemic and affected customers were compensated.

Complaints

People Energy reported 74 billing complaints and 173 other complaints in 2015- 16. This is an average of about 3.43 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

People Energy had 18 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 16 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program fell from $1436 to $699 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for five months.

Audit

People Energy will be subject to a general compliance audit in 2016-17.

Published offers

People Energy was in the middle to upper range of overall domestic and small business electricity offers published in 2015-16.

Powerdirect Pty Ltd

power-direct-logo

Powerdirect is a medium sized electricity retailer, with a focus on the business sector. Powerdirect was granted an electricity retail licence in January 2004 and commenced operations in that year. Powerdirect has energy retail operations in Victoria, ACT, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Powerdirect was purchased by AGL Energy in 2007 and is a wholly owned subsidiary. AGL Energy is an ASX listed company.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Powerdirect disconnected 347 electricity customers for non- payment. Eight wrongful disconnections by Powerdirect were reported to the Commission in 2015-16. All disconnections were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. The disconnections were not systemic and affected customers were compensated.

Complaints

Powerdirect reported 3327 billing complaints and 1009 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 9.06 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Powerdirect had 205 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 150 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $1959 to $2023 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 16 months.

Audit

Powerdirect were subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The review was conducted as part of the AGL Sales Pty Ltd audit.

Published offers

Powerdirect was in the lower range of overall small business electricity offers published during this period. Powerdirect was in the lower range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16.

Powershop Australia Pty Ltd

power-shop-logo

Powershop is a medium sized electricity retailer, mainly serving the residential sector. Powershop was granted an electricity retail licence in April 2012 and commenced operations in July 2012. Powershop has energy retail operations in Victoria and New South Wales. Powershop Australia is owned by Meridian Energy which is an ASX listed company. Meridian Energy holds assets in Solar, hydro and wind generation.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Powershop disconnected 67 electricity customers for non- payment. One wrongful disconnection by Powershop was reported to the Commission in 2015-16. The disconnection was identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. The disconnection was not systemic and affected customers were compensated.

Complaints

Powershop reported 29 billing complaints and 25 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 0.11 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Powershop had 173 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 115 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $1159 to $1550 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for six months.

Audit

Powershop will be subject to a general compliance audit in 2016-17.

Published offers

Powershop was in the lower range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. Powershop was in the middle range of overall small business electricity offers published during this period.

QEnergy Pty Ltd

q-energy-logo

QEnergy is a medium sized electricity retailer, predominantly serving the small business sector. QEnergy was granted an electricity retail licence in June 2013 and commenced operations in September 2013. QEnergy has energy retail operations in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. QEnergy is a privately owned company.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 QEnergy disconnected 6 electricity customers for non-payment. Three wrongful disconnections by QEnergy were reported to the Commission in 2015-16. All disconnections were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria.

Complaints

QEnergy reported 50 billing complaints and 52 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about two complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

QEnergy had 20 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 13 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program fell from $600 to $900 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 14 months.

Audit

QEnergy has not been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16.

Published offers

QEnergy was in the highest range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. QEnergy was in the middle to upper range of overall small business electricity offers published during this period.

Red Energy Pty Ltd

red-energy-logo

Red Energy is a large energy retailer, mainly serving the residential sector. Red Energy was granted an electricity retail licence in February 2004 and a gas retail licence in November 2006. Red Energy commenced operations in January 2005. Red Energy has energy retail operations in Victoria, ACT, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Red Energy is owned by Snowy Hydro which is jointly held by the NSW, Victorian and Australian Government. Snowy Hydro has significant generating capacity in hydroelectricity and gas as well as owning a second retailer – Lumo Energy – which it acquired in 2014.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Red Energy disconnected 1,315 domestic electricity and 647 domestic gas customers for non-payment. Red Energy reported nine wrongful disconnections to the Commission in 2015- 16. All disconnections were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. The disconnections were not systemic and affected customers were compensated.

Complaints

Red Energy reported 2936 billing complaints and 3248 other complaints in 2015- 16. This is an average of about 1.60 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Red Energy had 842 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 694 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program fell from $120 to $107 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for 5 months.

Audit

Red Energy was subject to a regulatory audit in 2015-16. The auditors found Red to be generally compliant in all 10 areas examined. However the auditors noted potential improvements regarding when hardship customers are entered into the hardship program, the content of disconnection notices and processes around life support customers. Red made improvements to address these issues. The Commission was satisfied Red had implemented the required improvements.

Published offers

Red Energy was in the lower range of overall domestic electricity offers published in 2015-16. Red Energy was in the upper range of gas offers published during this period.

Simply Energy

simply-energy-logo

Simply Energy is a large energy retailer, mainly serving the residential sector. Simply Energy was granted an electricity retail licence in June 2004 and commenced operations in that year. Simply Energy has energy retail operations in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Simply Energy is a subsidiary of an incorporated joint venture co-owned by ENGIE (formerly known as GDF SUEZ S.A.) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Mitsui has global interests in oil and gas. ENGIE has global interests in gas production and distribution, and energy generation and distribution. The incorporated joint venture currently owns and operates a number of power stations in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Simply Energy disconnected 4,495 domestic electricity and 3,322 domestic gas customers for non-payment. Simply Energy reported 52 wrongful disconnections to the Commission in 2015- 16. Ten were self-reported by Simply Energy, the remainder were identified by the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria. The disconnections were not systemic and affected customers were compensated.

Complaints

Simply Energy reported 11 189 billing complaints and 7655 other complaints in 2015-16. This is an average of about 4.78 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Simply Energy had 3169 participants in its hardship program in June 2016. This was up from 2652 in July 2015. The average debt of participants in the program rose from $942 to $1020 during the 2015-16 financial year. On average customers remained in the program for seven months.

Audit

Simply Energy was subject to a regulatory

Audit

in 2015-16. The

Audit

ors graded all areas as generally compliant, however noted some individual issues. Minor improvements were recommended to the content of letters sent to deemed customers; that a timeframe be stipulated for contacting a customer if a complaint isn’t resolved, and; that automated processes be added alongside manual protections to prevent disconnections on protected certain days. Simply accepted the recommendations and the Commission is satisfied that improvements have been made to ensure ongoing compliance. PUBLISHED OFFERS Simply Energy was in the lower range of domestic electricity and gas offers published in 2015-16.

Sumo Power (SparQ Pty Ltd)

sumo-power-logo

SparQ is a small sized electricity retailer, predominantly serving the residential sector. SparQ trades as Sumo Power. Sumo Power was granted an electricity retail licence in November 2014 and commenced operations in March 2015. Sumo Power currently only operates in Victoria. Sumo Power is a privately owned company.

Disconnections

During 2015-16 Sumo Power did not disconnect any electricity customers. Sumo Power did not report any wrongful disconnections for 2015-16.

Complaints

Sumo Power reported nine billing complaints and 57 other complaints in 2015- 16. This is an average of about 1.59 complaints per 100 customers.

Customers facing payment difficulty

Sumo Power did not report any customers being placed into their hardship program in 2015-16.

Audit

Sumo Power has not been subject to a regulatory audit during 2015-16.

Published offers

Sumo Power was in the lower range of overall domestic and small business electricity offers published in 2015-16.

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Essential Services Commission