We set new standards for bills and marketing materials to help customers navigate the energy market more effectively.
New standards for energy bills and marketing 2018
Final decision (best offer)30 October 2018
Final decision (fact sheet)21 March 2019
Rule changes take effect1 July 2019
New rules to help customers navigate the energy market
In response to recommendation 3 from the independent retail market review we are implementing a suite of reforms that help customers engage confidently and build trust in the retail energy market that took effect from 1 July 2019.
The new rules will promote transparency in the market by keeping customers informed of changes that affect their bills and whether they could access a better offer from their retailer. Retailers will also present prices inclusive of GST to make it easier to compare offers between retailers. The final decision for these reforms was released in October 2018. We also released a final decision in June 2019 clarifying how the new best offer and clear advice reforms interact with the Victorian Default Offer.
We have also made changes to information disclosure and marketing rules. We have introduced a new Victorian energy fact sheet to help customers easily compare energy plan information. The final high-level decision for these reforms was made in March 2019, and the technical final decision in May 2019.
'Best offer' information for energy consumers
Retailers must tell customers on their bill whether they're on the best energy plan and how much the customer could save by switching, at least quarterly for electricity bills, and at least every four months for gas bills.
Clear advice before you sign a new energy deal
Retailers will help customers navigate to a product that best suits their circumstances.
Fact sheets for consumers
All plans will have a fact sheet that shows the expected average yearly cost of the plan for a number of typical households.
Prior warning of bill changes
Retailers will be required to notify customers at least five days prior to price or benefit changes that will affect the customer's bill. When they do this, energy retailers must include a 'best offer' message telling customers whether a cheaper plan is available, and how much the customer could save by switching.
Customer read estimates
Customers that receive an estimated bill will be able to request an adjustment to their bill by submitting a self-read of their meter prior to the bill due date.
Consequential amendments related to the Victorian Default Offer
Stakeholder submissions to Consequential amendments related to the Victorian Default Offer
Best offer and clear advice
Fact sheet and meter read (high-level decision)
Fact sheet and meter read (technical decision)
This document provides a summary overview of the relevant recommendations (3A – H) made in the Independent Review into the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets in Victoria, as they apply to this work stream.
The Essential Services Commission is requested to implement a number of recommendations following the Independent Review into the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets in Victoria. These Terms of Reference relate to customer outcomes in the energy market.