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Protections for customers facing payment difficulty

The Commission is considering changes to the Energy Retail Code aimed at providing new protections for customers who are at risk of falling into debt and being disconnected.

The proposed changes are a response to changes to Victoria’s energy industry legislation which gave the Commission a new objective:

To promote protections for customers, including in relation to assisting customers who are facing payment difficulties.

The proposed changes and responses to the consutlation are detailed in the Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision.

Timeline

May – June: Stakeholder and public forums
Friday 16 June: Submission period closes
July: Additional stakeholder forums and technical workshops (tentative)
July – August: Release of final decision

Consultation

Submissions are now closed.

Public submissions are available on the Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision.

A series of public and stakeholder forums were held between May and July. Additional stakeholder forums may be held to reflect on the matters raised in the submissions.

Background

In February 2016, the Commission completed its inquiry into energy hardship. The inquiry found:

  • energy company hardship programs are not preventing customers from building up large debts or being disconnected,
  • customers are not getting the assistance they need
  • many of the current rules cannot be enforced.

The Commission’s final report of the inquiry, Supporting Customers, Avoiding Labels was released in March 2016.

Associated Documents


Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision (12)
02 Jun 2017 Payment Difficulties Framework: Public forum on 1 June 2017 – presentation slides
29 May 2017 Payment Difficulties Framework: Stakeholder forum on 29 May 2017 – presentation by Dr Ron Ben-David
16 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision – consultation schedule
16 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision – ACIL Allen retailer information request
16 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: draft Energy Retail Code version 12
09 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision – executive summary
09 May 2017 Media release: new customer protections for energy customers
09 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision – ACIL Allen report
09 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision – KPMG report
09 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision
(18) Submissions
09 May 2017 Payment Difficulties Framework: new draft decision – presentation by Dr Ron Ben-David
09 May 2017 Payment Difficulty Framework: new draft decision – stakeholder forum presentation slides
Payment Difficulty Framework: first draft decision (6)
09 Feb 2017 Record of Decision – New Draft Decision on Safety Net for Victorian Energy Consumers Facing Payment Difficulties
21 Oct 2016 Payment Difficulties Safety Net Draft Decision
(19) Submissions
21 Oct 2016 Payment Difficulties Safety Net – Draft Customer Advice Manual
21 Oct 2016 Media Release: Payment Difficulties Safety Net
31 Aug 2016 Payment Difficulties Newsletter – August 2016
22 Mar 2016 Energy Hardship Inquiry Final Report: Supporting Customers, Avoiding Labels