This report aims to provide consumers with information about the energy market that would promote effective competition, to achieve the best outcomes for Victorian energy consumers.
Victorian Energy Market Report
The Victorian Energy Market Report aims to build consumer understanding of how the market operates.
Our latest quarterly report includes:
- Know your consumer rights: We highlight Victorian energy consumer rights, including that every electricity retailer in Victoria must offer residential and small business customers the current Victorian Default Offer. Also, Victorian retailers can only increase prices at specific times, and if a customer is facing bill stress, they should ask their energy retailer for help.
- How we are protecting consumers: This article presents a compliance and enforcement update, including that we have published our new compliance and enforcement policy on 5 April 2022, and have been focused on assisting compliance this quarter by issuing guidelines on a range of regulatory obligations.
- Energy in Victoria: This section provides a summary of major activity across the energy sector in Victoria between January and March 2022. This includes a summary of our compliance and enforcement actions, the experience of customers experiencing payment difficulty, and recent changes to the energy market.
Key messages and findings
When it comes to energy price changes, there are protections in place for residential and small business customers
Victorian retailers can only increase prices at specific times to provide customers with certainty about prices (unless the customer is on an exempt market contract and has explicitly agreed to different arrangements). For electricity customers on market contracts that are not fixed term contracts, the next time prices may be increased is 1 August 2022. Retailers must give notice to customers of any variations to tariffs and charges as soon as practicable.
As well, there are rules that energy retailers must follow when communicating with customers about what offers are the best for them. There are also protections in place if an energy retailer were to go out of business, requiring the transfer of customers to other retailers. Consumers will not lose access to or continuity of gas or electricity supply should such an event occur.
We published a new compliance and enforcement policy and have been focused on assisting compliance this quarter
We published our new compliance and enforcement policy on 5 April 2022. Our approach is to focus the greater part of our resources on assisting compliance. We take enforcement action where we detect serious breaches that require a response focused on deterrence of similar conduct in the future.
We have issued guidelines on a range of regulatory obligations. The commission issues guidelines to be transparent with industry about its interpretation of regulatory obligations.
Highlights between January and March 2022
Retailers paid a total of $1.03 million in penalty notices for alleged failure to notify customers of a planned power interruption and alleged wrongful disconnection.
For customers experiencing payment difficulty, disconnection levels are higher than in 2019 but lower than in 2018. Average customer arrears is higher than the monthly average of 2020-21.
We also issued two new electricity retail licences and varied one gas distribution licence.
Also, on 24 May 2022, the commission initiated the Retailer of Last Resort process to automatically transfer customers from failed gas retailer Weston Energy Pty Ltd (Weston Energy) to other retailers in Victoria to provide for the continued supply of essential gas services.
Victorian energy market report and updates in 2021-22
Victorian energy market report and updates in 2020-21
Victorian energy market report and updates in 2019-20
Victorian energy market report and updates in 2018-19
Victorian energy market report and updates in 2017-18
Victorian Energy Market Report 2016-17
Licensed energy businesses audit fact sheets 2016-17
Victorian Energy Market Report 2015-16
Victorian Energy Market Report Updates: 2016-2017
Energy retail performance reports
These reports pre-date the Victorian Energy Market Report.