Regulator rebuilding trust in energy market by holding companies to account
16 July 2021
Victoria’s energy regulator says it is rebuilding trust in the energy market by upholding consumer rights when energy companies fail to follow the rules.
The Essential Services Commission has issued $5 million in penalty notices since October 2018 with energy businesses paying a record $2.5 million last financial year alone.
Lead enforcement commissioner Sitesh Bhojani says acting against misbehaving energy companies ensures a level playing field for those who do play by the rules.
“We’ve taken action against energy companies for a range of misbehaviour including failing to stop dodgy sales agents from switching people without their consent or putting up barriers to payment assistance for those who need support,” he said.
Commissioner Bhojani says when all businesses abide by the rules, both consumers and energy businesses can have confidence in the energy sector.
“We have zero tolerance for unethical or fraudulent conduct because that’s the only way to rebuild trust in the market,” he said.
Last financial year, the commission issued more than 150 penalty notices to four energy businesses for alleged misbehaviour including fraud by sales agents, putting up barriers to payment assistance, confusing billing practices and solar discrimination.