Locality Planning Energy pays penalty for alleged code breach

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Electricity provider Locality Planning Energy Pty Ltd (LPE) has paid a penalty of $10,500 after the ACCC issued it with an infringement notice for an alleged contravention of the Electricity Retail Code.

This is the first enforcement action taken by the ACCC for a breach of the Code.

The Code was introduced in July 2019 to reduce confusion and make it easier for consumers to compare retail electricity offers. It imposes rules on electricity providers for how they must advertise prices and conditions on market and standing offers.

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The ACCC alleges that LPE breached the Code by publishing an offer on its website but failing to include:

  • a comparison of its offered price to the reference price, which is the benchmark price set by the government,
  • the total amount a customer consuming an average amount of electricity would pay in a year based on the offered price, and
  • the distribution region and type of small customer to which the offer applied.

“By not displaying the information required by the Code, LPE made it difficult for consumers to assess the value of the deal against others advertised in the market,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“Electricity retailers have had plenty of time to ensure they comply with the Code and the ACCC will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who fail to do so.”

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