We are proposing targeted reforms to support residential and small business customers in managing their energy bills through the pandemic.
Supporting energy customers through the coronavirus pandemic 2020
Draft decision30 June 2020
Submissions close14 July 2020
Final decisionAugust 2020
Rule changes take effect1 October 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant health and economic impacts across the Victorian community. We have been closely monitoring practices of energy businesses at this time, as well as following new measures being introduced at both a government and industry level to support customers affected by the pandemic.
Based on the evidence available so far, we consider there are certain areas where targeted reforms could be introduced to ensure consistent minimum standards for customers experiencing financial difficulties and support customers in managing their energy bills through the pandemic, particularly as restrictions are easing and businesses are starting to open.
Key proposals from our draft decision
Supporting utility relief grant applications
Retailers will be required to support residential customers in completing utility relief grant application forms, including by submitting forms online on behalf of the customer where possible and the customer consents.
We propose that this will be an ongoing requirement.
Offering tariff checks
Retailers will be required to conduct a tariff check for all residential customers receiving tailored assistance, not just those who cannot afford the ongoing cost of their energy.
We propose that this will be a temporary requirement in effect for six months from commencement of the rules for retailers.
Payment assistance for small businesses
Retailers will be required to provide minimum assistance to small business customers that are anticipating or in financial stress.
We propose that these will be temporary requirements in effect for six months from commencement of the rules for retailers.
View our draft decision
Our draft decision sets out our proposed new guideline and amendments to the Energy Retail Code to give effect to reforms to support customers affected by the pandemic.