The Australian Energy Council said it welcomed the opportunity to work with the Victorian Government to deliver improvements that encourage early intervention and engagement with energy consumers experiencing financial difficulty.
Commenting on the Essential Services Commission (ESC) of Victoria’s Supporting Customers, Avoiding Labels final report, the Australian Energy Council’s chief executive Matthew Warren said the ESC’s work highlights the complexity and challenge of identifying and then providing timely assistance to consumers who need support managing 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. If you think you are unable to pay your energy bill, please to talk to your retailer as early as possible to see what options are available.
“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.