We made changes to ensure electricity and gas contracts are clear and fair, in response to recommendations made by the independent bipartisan review of electricity and gas retail markets in 2018.
Ensuring contracts are clear and fair 2019
Issues paperJune 2019
Draft decision10 December 2019
Submissions close21 January 2020
Final decision28 February 2020
Rule changes take effect1 July 2020
New rules to ensure contract periods, practices and variations are clear and fair
In response to recommendation 4 from the independent bipartisan review of electricity and gas retail markets we implemented a suite of reforms to ensure that contract periods, practices (including discounting) and variations are clear and fair.
The final decision for these reforms was released in February 2020, following an issues paper in June 2019 and a draft decision in December 2019.
These reforms took effect from 1 July 2020.
Retailers are only allowed to increase prices once a year.
For many customers, this will happen on a set date one month after network tariff prices change. Customers on fixed-price contracts will only experience any price increases on the anniversary of their initial fixed-price period expiring.
Retailers must clearly communicate the time at which prices may change with their customers.
Clearer and simpler contract and discounting practices
Any customer signing up to a new offer with a discount, credit or rebate will receive that benefit for the entire duration of their contract.
Retailers must advertise electricity offers with reference to the Victorian Default Offer, to help customers compare like with like.
Pay-on-time discounts are capped at a level set by the commission, so customers who miss a bill payment will not face a large increase in costs.
Retailers must honour pay-on-time discounts for customers receiving tailored assistance who miss a bill payment.
Retailers must roll customers on fixed-term electricity contracts who do not choose another offer at the end of the contract onto the Victorian Default Offer.
Information about the Victorian Default Offer on bills
Retailers must include specified information about the Victorian Default Offer on the front page of every electricity bill. This tells customers about the offer and how to access it.