The Queensland Government will now be part of the National Energy Customer Framework, giving electricity customers greater protection support to help them shop around between electricity retailers.
Energy Minister, Mark Bailey, said the new protective measures for energy consumers follows Queensland’s decision to sign up to the National Energy Customer Framework.
“It’s about having safeguards in place to ensure Queenslanders get the most out of their electricity service.
“Under the national framework, south-east Queensland electricity retailers will be required to offer at least one market contract with no exit fee if a customer decides to switch providers, while all exit fees are capped at $20.
“Retailers will also be required to inform customers ahead of any price increases and cannot charge customers up-front for meter tests.
“Customers are encouraged to contact their retailer if they face difficulty paying their energy bills. Retailers are required to offer special support, such as payment plans, for customers in financial hardship,” said Mr Bailey.
Mr Bailey said Queensland’s decision to take part in the national framework follows widespread consultation with consumer groups and industry.
In a snapshot:
- Consumers will continue to receive advanced warning about the expiry of benefits like price discounts;
- Retailers must offer at least one market contract with no exit fee. All other market contract exit fees must be capped at $20;
- Retailers must tell consumers about concessions and rebates in disconnection warning notices;
- Distributors can no longer ask customers for security deposits; and
- Consumers on standard retail contracts have the right to ask for their bills to be smoothed to avoid summer ‘peak’ bills.
More information can be found at www.energymadeeasy.gov.au