Vic energy consumers to get safety net

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) has released a draft safety net to help Victorian energy consumers take control of their energy costs.

The safety net was created to prevent consumers accumulating large debts and ensure disconnection for non-payment was a last resort.

Customers facing difficulty with paying will be provided with:

• clear entitlements to assistance from their energy company
• certainty of the minimum standards of assistance they should receive
• access to practical information about the cost of their energy use
• assistance to reduce the cost of energy use.

Companies will also be prohibited from asking customers intrusive questions about their finances and personal circumstances.

Victoria’s energy industry legislation was amended in January this year, to ensure protections for customers.

The safety net will come into effect on 1 July 2017.

The commission is inviting submissions on the draft decision until November 18.