Energy regulator issues warning to AGL

Victoria’s energy regulator has told AGL to “get its house in order” after the big energy retailer admitted it could not provide crucial data on its performance.

The Essential Services Commission has warned AGL it will initiate a review of its licence to sell electricity and gas in Victoria, if the energy retailer cannot supply accurate and reliable data to the regulator.

As a supplier of essential services to Victorian consumers, commission chair Dr Ron Ben-David said AGL has an obligation to provide performance data on a regular basis.

“We, and the community, hold energy retailers to the highest levels of account and that requires retailers to give us regular and reliable data,” Dr Ben-David said.

Since the market was opened in the 1990s, all energy retailers operating in Victoria have been required to provide data to the commission on a quarterly basis to promote transparency about how the market is operating.

“It is extraordinary to think AGL, the biggest retailer in the state, can’t even tell us how many customers it has at the moment,” Dr Ben-David said.

AGL is the state’s largest energy retailer, supplying almost a quarter of all electricity and gas customers in Victoria. AGL has told the commission it is unable to provide data on:

  • the number of customers AGL has disconnected
  • the number of customers who had their bills estimated
  • how many customers are receiving a solar feed-in tariff
  • the number of customers it has enrolled in its hardship programs
  • how many of AGL’s customers are falling behind on paying their bills
  • how long customers are kept waiting when they call AGL.

“This is not just about data. The community has a right to know what’s happening in the energy market and AGL is denying the community that right,” Dr Ben-David said.

The commission has warned AGL if it fails to provide accurate and reliable data by October 31, the commission will immediately initiate a review of whether AGL has the technical capacity to operate in accordance with its licence to operate in Victoria.AG