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Regulator considering rule change to address estimated bill shock
27 September 2018
Victoria’s energy regulator is considering changing the rules to address community concerns about estimated bills after 5,000 complaints were made to retailers about the practice in 2017.
The Essential Services Commission latest energy market report shows despite making up less than 10 per cent of all billing complaints, more than 5,000 households and 500 small businesses had complained about estimated billing to their retailer.
Director of energy Sarah McDowell says most complaints were about estimated bills being much higher than expected.
“There were also complaints about high ‘catch up’ bills being issued after earlier estimates were too low,” she said.
Ms McDowell says the commission is considering changing the rules so customers can provide their own meter reads, reducing the need for estimating.
“This is already allowed by some retailers but it’s discretionary so we’ll be talking to customers and retailers over coming months about changing this rule,” she said.
The commission’s latest energy market report - a snapshot of activity over the last three months – also provides a summary on:
our enforcement action against energy companies who have not complied with the rules
the latest information on customer disconnections
an update on the latest feed-in tariff rates offered by retailers for exported electricity
new licences issued to energy businesses
our actions to improve outcomes for Victorian energy consumers
reports and decisions we have released in and since the June quarter.
This report is a guide on how the electricity and gas markets are performing. It aims to help customers understand how the energy retail market works, and what they need to do to get the best out of it.