The Australian Energy Council (AEC) has said it welcomes the opportunity to work with the Victorian Government to deliver improvements that encourage early intervention and engagement with energy consumers experiencing financial difficulty.
AEC chief executive Matthew Warren said the Essential Services Commission (ESC) of Victoria’s Supporting Customers, Avoiding Labels report highlights the challenge of identifying and then providing timely assistance to consumers who need support in managing their energy bills.
“It also reinforces that to effectively support the most vulnerable consumers requires regulators, consumer groups, energy retailers and government all working together,” he said.
“The energy industry has an important role to play and it has been involved in extensive consultation throughout this review to deliver effective ways to support households in financial trouble.”
Energy retailers already work with financial counsellors and community groups to seek improvements to managing vulnerable consumers, Mr Warren said.
“We look forward to working further with the ESC to ensure the long-term interests of consumers facing payment difficulty are met as we move towards implementation of the new framework in July next year.”