The commission has outlined its priorities to hold regulated energy businesses to account and uphold the rights and protections of Victorian energy consumers over the next 12 months. These include taking action where energy businesses fail to:
provide payment assistance to residential customers as required by the energy payment difficulty framework
follow strict rules relating to customer disconnections
help customers to navigate the energy market through best offer information obligations and secure informed customer consent around new or changed contracts
protect customers experiencing vulnerability including those requiring life support or affected by family violence.
Commissioner Bhojani says these priorities reflect current community concerns and the commission’s commitment to supporting Victorian consumers to navigate the energy market.
“Electricity and gas are essential services that keep our community safe and productive. The commission will continue to build community and consumer trust in the energy market by promoting and enforcing compliance in these areas – making sure regulated businesses follow the rules, uphold their obligations and do the right thing by Victorians.”
The commission’s annual compliance and enforcement priorities play a key role in promoting transparency and competition in the Victorian energy market in the long-term interest of consumers.
“But these priorities do not limit us,” said Commissioner Bhojani. “Where we identify harm associated with significant non-compliance with energy laws, we take enforcement action.”
Since January 2021, the commission has taken enforcement action against 15 energy companies over alleged breaches of Victorian energy laws and consumer protections. These have resulted in payment of more than $12 million in penalties and five court enforceable undertakings.