We have made changes to the energy retail code to specify which obligations apply to certain types of electricity sellers who are exempt from holding a licence.
Energy Retail Code review 2018 (obligations for exempt sellers)
Draft decision5 July 2018
Submissions closed10 August 2018
Final decision19 September 2018
We have changed the energy retail code to specify which obligations apply to certain types of electricity sellers who are exempt from holding a licence under the general exemption order. These exemptions include many caravan parks, retirement homes, apartments, shopping centres and similar sites that have an embedded electricity network.
The Victorian Government has changed the rules that apply to electricity sellers in embedded networks to ensure that their customers have similar protections to other Victorian energy consumers. As part of this change the government asked us to specify which obligations in our Energy Retail Code should apply to exempt sellers.
We have released a final decision outlining the obligations that will apply to exempt sellers from 1 January 2019. Where possible we have tried to align these obligations with the rules in other states and territories.
Our final decision
After consulting with stakeholders on our draft decision, we have released a final decision that details the obligations that will apply to exempt sellers. We acknowledge that it may take time for some exempt sellers to meet their new obligations. Accordingly, we propose for changes to apply to exempt sellers from 1 January 2019.
These obligations relate directly to provisions in the retail energy code. They relate broadly to the following areas:
- explicit informed consent
- billing, including contents and information on bills, basis for bills, frequency of bills, payment methods, undercharging and overcharging, additional retail charges and merchant fees
- payment difficulties assistance and payment plan options
- restrictions on debt recovery for residential customers experiencing payment difficulties
- a prohibition on security deposits for residential customers
- general information about interpreter services
- provision of information to customers
- reminder notice and disconnection warning notice requirements
- disconnection and reconnection requirements
- life support equipment requirements.