Victorian energy businesses facing more scrutiny from regulator

electricity bills, energy regulator, dmo, default offer, standing offer, energy retailers

Energy retailers in Victoria are facing more scrutiny from the state’s independent economic regulator to ensure new consumer protections are being rolled out to Victorian households.

The Essential Services Commission (ESC) is planning to update reporting requirements for electricity businesses to ensure households are being offered a new fairer price for energy – the Victorian Default Offer – as well as being told if they’re on their retailer’s ‘best offer’ for them.

Commission energy director Sarah McDowell says the proposed changes will shine a light on the impact of new customer protections that came into effect on or before July 1.

“We want to know how many households are on the Victorian default offer, how many are receiving the required ‘best offer’ messages on their bills or getting early notification of bill changes,” Ms McDowell said.

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“We also want to check on the take-up of self-meter reads and new rules designed to protect Victorians experiencing family violence.”

Ms McDowell says updating the reporting requirements will help the ESC understand whether the energy market is delivering the intended outcomes of the reforms and, more broadly, meeting community expectations.

“Victorians should be told whether the market is delivering outcomes in their interests,” she said.

“That is why we have made it a priority in 2019–20 to gather important information from energy companies to enable us to paint this important picture.”

The new reporting requirements are included in the commission’s draft Compliance & Performance Reporting Guideline now open for consultation via Engage Victoria until October 14.

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