We are proposing changes to the energy retail code to specify which obligations apply to certain types of electricity sellers who are exempt from holding a licence.
Obligations for exempt sellers under the General Exemption Order 2017
Draft decision5 July 2018
Submissions close10 August 2018
Final decisionSeptember 2018
The Victorian Government is changing 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 these changes the government has asked us to specify which obligations in our Energy Retail Code should apply to exempt sellers.
We have released a draft decision outlining the obligations we propose to apply to exempt sellers. Where possible we have tried to align these obligations with the rules in other states and territories.
Our draft decision
The detail of the proposed obligations can be found in our draft decision. 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.
How can you get involved?
We are now seeking feedback and invite submissions from interested parties, including exempt persons, electricity licence holders and their customers. Please note that the scope of the review relates to which provisions of the retail code should apply to exempt sellers. We are not consulting on any other policy matters.
Submissions should be submitted preferably in electronic format by 5.00 pm on Friday 10 August 2018. Submissions can be emailed to email@example.com. You can also send submissions by mail, marked Submissions to Energy Division, to:
Essential Services Commission
Level 37, 2 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Following consultation with stakeholders, we expect to release a final decision and an amended retail code in September 2018. 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.