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Energy companies on notice
29 May 2018
The state’s energy regulator is updating how energy companies report on how they’re helping customers avoid racking up large debts and paying off their energy bills.
The Essential Services Commission has flagged changes to reporting guidelines as the next step in an overhaul of energy rules designed to ensure Victorians who are facing difficulties paying their energy bills get the help they deserve.
The commission’s director of energy Sarah McDowell says the new reporting obligations will bring to life new rules coming into effect in January 2019.
“The changes will set new minimum standards for the assistance energy companies have to make available to Victorian households to help prevent them getting into high levels of debt.
“There are also new safeguards to prevent customers being disconnected unless a retailer has met all their obligations,” she said.
The proposed guideline will ensure the regulator can track how energy companies are helping customers who are seeking help and how much is owed.
Ms McDowell says the information will help the commission track if the rules are working to help consumers.
“We want to make sure the data we collect is meaningful and we can be confident our changes to the energy rules are helping people.
“The data also means we can see whether retailers are complying with the requirements, and take action when they are not,” she said.
We publish information about retailers’ compliance and other updates on the Victorian energy market in regular reports. The data collected under the new guideline will be published in reports starting next year.
We are now seeking feedback on the proposed changes to the guideline before a final decision expected in July 2018. Further information on the revised reporting and compliance guideline is on our website. Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 June 2018.