We are developing resources for energy retailers outlining how they can support customers experiencing economic abuse associated with family violence.
Family violence resources review 2018
Launch and workshop #130 August 2018
Discussion paper31 October
Submissions close7 December 2018
Draft decision and proposed code amendmentFebruary 2019
Third anniversary of the report of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family ViolenceMarch 2019
How energy retailers can better support people experiencing family violence
We have published a discussion paper to guide energy retailers on how to improve their processes to provide safe and effective support to customers and staff who experience family violence.
Thank you for your feedback
Submissions on our discussion paper Providing Family Violence Support are now closed. Thank you to those who provided feedback.
Feedback on this paper will inform changes to our regulatory framework, including some changes to our Energy Retail Code.
We'll be putting out a draft decision in early 2019. Keep an eye out for information about the next stages in this process.
Our role in pressing for change
In response to the 2016 Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, the government asked us to provide guidance on the policies and best practices energy retailers should adopt to support people who have experienced family violence. Since July 2018, we've worked with family violence experts and the broader energy sector to understand our role and how best to facilitate change.
'The victim's choices, their ability to participate freely in everyday life is taken from them. It is the deprivation of that basic right, that right to participate freely in every day life, that is what we are here to discuss.'
- Essential Services Commission Chairperson, Dr Ron Ben-David, speaking at our project launch.
We're supporting energy retailers to develop safe and effective responses
We're looking at ways businesses can ensure they are providing the right kind of support to customers and staff at the point it is needed.
Through a series of workshops we are exploring the impact of family violence on customers and staff and why the Royal Commission into Family Violence identified a role for business in providing safe and effective responses.
'If you are asking yourself, 'how could I help?', change the tone in that and ask yourself 'how can I help?' Because the smallest thing can make a difference.'
- Educator and family violence advocate, Lisa McAdams, at our first workshop in August
Working collaboratively to learn and raise awareness
We know some energy retailers are already active in responding to family violence. We are partnering with them to learn about their approach, how they they see their role in the community, and what issues they face in continuing to develop an effective response.
'If it were a colleague or a friend of mine, I would want to know that industries like mine have their back and would help when they need it.'
- David Ackland, EnergyAustralia's Executive for Customer Experience, at our first workshop in August
We’ll be out and about again in 2019
In addition to energy retailers, we’ll be meeting regularly with the community sector, family violence specialists and other service sectors that are progressing their own work on family violence provisions. We’ll be attending events hosted by Thriving Communities Partnership, Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) and the Financial and Consumer Rights Council.