We made changes to reduce the allowable back-billing period for retail energy customers from nine months to four months.
Changes to the back-billing rules 2020
Draft decision28 February 2020
Submissions close27 March 2020
Final decision8 July 2020
Rule changes take effect1 January 2021
In response to a terms of reference from the Victorian Government, we have implemented code obligations on energy retailers and distributors to ensure that customers cannot be back-billed for more than four months when they are not at fault.
Previously, customers could be back-billed up to nine months by their retailer if they had been undercharged, unless the customer was at fault.
The final decision for this reform was released in July 2020, following a draft decision in February 2020.
The new four month limit on back-billing came into effect on 1 January 2021.
Key facts from our final decision
New back-billing rule for retailers
Retailers can only recover any amount undercharged in the four months before they notify the customer, unless the undercharging was a result of the customer’s fault or unlawful act or omission.
New back-billing rule for distributors
An electricity or gas distributor is not able to recover charges from a retailer if the retailer is not able to recover those charges from a customer.
However, a distributor can back-bill a retailer beyond four months when a retailer is at some fault for the undercharge (the retailer would be unable to recover more than four months of undercharged amounts from the customer in this situation).