Origin Energy fined $20,000 by AER

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Origin Energy was fined $20,000 by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for allegedly failing to submit accurate data on its market performance.

The AER issued the notice because it had reason to believe that Origin Energy had breached the National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law) by failing to submit accurate market performance data to the AER by the required date.

Origin subsequently resubmitted the correct data, four months after it was due.

“A key part of our role as the energy regulator is to monitor and report on energy markets and ensure retailers are meeting their obligations,” AER chair Paula Conboy said.

“The accurate and timely submission of performance data by retailers helps paint a clearer picture of what is going on in the homes of Australian energy customers.

“When we understand the disconnection rates or the number of customers on payment plans, we are in a position to inform policy makers and other key decision makers and work towards better energy outcomes.”

The performance data is also used by the AER and other stakeholders to inform policy decisions, for market analysis and to carry out regulatory functions.

Ms Conboy said the AER’s focus on the accuracy and timeliness of all data reporting is just one of its tools to promote transparency and consumer confidence in retail energy markets.

The Energy Made Easy price comparator website, which provides customers with information on all the generally available offers in their area, is another.

“We encourage all customers to visit Energy Made Easy to see whether they could be saving money on their energy offer – we know that in most areas there can be a difference of hundreds of dollars between the cheapest and the most expensive offer,” Ms Conboy said.

“We will continue to protect energy customers, by ensuring energy businesses comply with the rules around customer disconnection, and by encouraging retailers to adopt the AER’s Sustainable Payment Plans Framework.”

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