Our submission to Ausgrid’s Draft Plan 2024-2029

Our submission to Ausgrid’s Draft Plan 2024-2029

AU Energy Compliance, Embedded Networks
NSW distributor Ausgrid is proposing, in its draft plan 2024-2029, to introduce new embedded network tariffs that would have the effect of increasing network costs by approximately 30%. The reasons that Ausgrid advance for the proposed EN Tariffs centre around the nebulous concepts of equity and fairness to other network users. When comparing the electricity market today to the electricity market in April or May 2022, we see that there are fewer market offers available for consumers, higher prices on most market offers, and fewer retailers (with 8 retailers entering the Retailer of Last Resort scheme since 1 May 2022). Against this background, a proposal to introduce EN Tariffs that would result in a ~30% increase in network charges (Ausgrid’s Pricing Directions Paper for 2024-2029 para 4.4.3), needs to be…
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Electricity Price Increases in Victoria

Electricity Price Increases in Victoria

Victorian Energy
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) has released a report on electricity prices (here). The report unsurprisingly found that higher wholesale electricity costs drove recent market offer price increases. Over the 2021-22 financial year, the median electricity offer in Victoria increased by two per cent for residential customers and one per cent for small business customers. The market offer price trend over this period was broadly U-shaped, but with a sharper increase from January until September 2022. During the January to September 2022 period, the median electricity offer in Victoria increased by eight per cent for residential customers and six per cent for small business customers. Given the changes that occurred to wholesale pricing in June, we can expect further interesting analysis to arise for the July to December period. Wholesale…
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A focus on best offer messaging by Victorian retailers

A focus on best offer messaging by Victorian retailers

Victorian Energy
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) has identified a variety of potentially concerning issues with the way that certain retailers have calculated and displayed best offers; including the the prominence and placement of best offers on bills; and the frequency that these messages appear on customers’ bills. Analysis is still underway and we can expect further updates from the ESC over the coming months. Best offer obligations The best offer obligations were introduced in 2019 as part of major reforms to help customers understand and identify the best offer available to them. The obligations include the display of the amount (in dollars) that a customer could be saving on a retailer's best offer. The ESC's compliance focus The ESC started a proactive compliance monitoring project focused on best offer obligations in…
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4 Easy Ways to Make Your Employees Aware of Your Business Policies and Procedures

4 Easy Ways to Make Your Employees Aware of Your Business Policies and Procedures

AU Energy Compliance, NT Energy Compliance
Are you looking to create a cohesive team and ensure everyone is on the same page? Make sure your employees are aware of your business policies and procedures with these easy methods. Review your policies and procedures with your team regularly. One of the most important ways to ensure your employees are aware of your business policies and procedures is to review them with your team regularly. By doing this, you can make sure everyone is on the same page and that any concerns or problems are identified and addressed as soon as possible. Some tips for conducting effective reviews: - Have a system in place for Employees to report any concerns or problems with policies and procedures. This will help ensure that any issues are quickly addressed. - Hold…
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Cyber Security Risks for Energy Businesses

Cyber Security Risks for Energy Businesses

AU Energy Compliance
The Optus data breach has focused the attention of executives of energy businesses on cyber security. Cybersecurity threats have increased in intensity and frequency over the past few years, and all utility providers should be re-examining their cyber resilience. There are both general and industry specific regulatory obligations that apply to energy businesses. Understanding applicable regulatory obligations is a critical component of any assessment of cybersecurity risk. Regulatory & Legal Obligations relating to cybersecurity Within the Privacy Act, the Australian Privacy Principles set out how businesses must collect, manage, store and disclose personal information. Personal information is defined in the Privacy Act as information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether the information or opinion is true or not, and whether the…
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What are Prejudicial Terms?

What are Prejudicial Terms?

AU Energy Compliance
What are Prejudicial Terms? A key focus of consumer-focused regulation is to address information asymmetry, so that consumers can make informed choices. Sections 47A and 47B of the NSW Fair-Trading Act require that businesses disclose any: key terms that may have a prejudicial impact on the customer; andcommissions received or payable to a third party should the customer proceed with a transaction. The purpose of these disclosure obligations is to ensure that customers are well-informed and have all relevant information required by them to make a decision.   When did this new obligation commence? These disclosure obligations took effect on 1 July 2020. Who regulates this new obligation? As these obligations apply to all sectors of businesses within NSW. The responsibility to monitor and enforce compliance with these obligations rests…
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