Commissioner Sitesh Bhojani says the rights and protections of consumers are front and centre of the regulator’s energy compliance and enforcement priorities.
“Affordable, accessible and reliable gas and electricity services are essential to the wellbeing and productivity of all Victorians. Our compliance and enforcement priorities hold energy companies to account by ensuring they uphold protections on important matters facing consumers such as wrongful disconnections, bill stress and switching energy contracts or retailers with confidence,” said Commissioner Bhojani.
“This kind of activity has been unhelpful at best and harmful at worst. Industry needs to double its efforts to foster consumer trust and confidence in the sector. Businesses must provide customers with clear, timely and reliable information about their retail contracts, potential price rises, the Victorian Default offer and best offer information,” said Commissioner Bhojani.
Commissioner Bhojani says the priorities play an important role in promoting transparency and competition in the energy market for the long-term interest of consumers.
“Obligations to provide best offer information, and to obtain explicit informed consent from consumers on retail contracts and service terms, level the playing field for retailers trying to attract customers,” said Commissioner Bhojani.
The priorities also focus on support and protections for consumers experiencing vulnerability.
“Our enduring priority is to help all Victorians access essential services, especially those who rely on energy for life support, are affected by family violence, or who struggle to pay their energy bills. There are important protections in place for Victorians experiencing vulnerability, and we are committed to making sure energy businesses comply with their obligations to engage with and support these customers,” said Commissioner Bhojani.
The commission will continue to foster trust in the energy market by promoting and enforcing compliance in these areas, in line with its compliance and enforcement policy.
2022-23 energy compliance and enforcement priorities
As electricity and gas are essential services, consumers should only ever be disconnected by an energy retailer as a last resort.
Explicit informed consent
Explicit informed consent must be obtained for certain transactions and particularly for new contract formation. We have zero tolerance for unethical or fraudulent conduct.
Payment difficulty framework
Our payment difficulty framework ensures that energy retailers provide assistance to customers who may be experiencing difficulty paying their bills.
Best offer messages
We ensure that retailers are informing customers about whether they are on their best offer when purchasing energy.
Embedded networks fees and charges
We monitor embedded network operators’ fees and charges to ensure that they are accurate and do not exceed the maximum set by the Victorian Default Offer.
Guaranteed service level compensation
We ensure distributors are compensating consumers when guaranteed service levels are not met.
Protecting customers experiencing vulnerability
Our enduring priority is to help all Victorians access essential services, especially those who are affected by family violence or rely on energy for life support.