Draft Decision Signals Stronger Consumer Protections for Small-Scale Energy Customers

Draft Decision Signals Stronger Consumer Protections for Small-Scale Energy Customers

AU Energy Compliance
Late last year, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (Commission) released its Draft Decision on improving consumer protections for small-scale energy network customers. The decision applies in relation to small-scale energy networks regulated exclusively by the Commission. There are approximately 11,000 customers in these networks in remote and regional South Australia. The Commission's final decision is likely to be made in the coming weeks. The Draft Decision proposes several amendments to strengthen existing protections, increase consistency across the electricity and gas sectors, and better align certain protections with the National Energy Customer Framework. The proposed changes aim to "protect the long-term interests of South Australian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services.” Key proposals include: Establishing a Small-scale Electricity Networks Code and renaming the…
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New Code Sets Standards for Energy Transmission Companies Accessing Private Land

New Code Sets Standards for Energy Transmission Companies Accessing Private Land

AU Energy Compliance
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) has released a draft Land Access Code of Practice to regulate how energy transmission companies access private land when undertaking new projects or significant upgrades. The code will be critical as we see new transmission projects emerge to support the energy transition. The code aims to balance the rights of landowners and occupiers with the need for transmission companies to access land to provide essential services. The code will require transmission companies to: •Consult with and provide relevant information to affected parties prior to accessing land. According to the code, “An electricity transmission company must consult with affected parties and other parties interested in land in accordance with this Part 2 prior to accessing land in accordance with an access agreement or by exercising its…
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AER Prioritises Consumer Protection and Market Transparency

AER Prioritises Consumer Protection and Market Transparency

AU Energy Compliance
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released its Compliance and Enforcement Priorities for 2023-24, outlining key focus areas for monitoring and enforcing compliance in Australia’s energy markets over the next year. The priorities aim to protect consumers, especially those experiencing vulnerability, enable competitive markets, and support efficient infrastructure. A top priority for the AER is improving outcomes for customers experiencing financial hardship. The AER notes that “with the considerable challenges facing the east-coast energy market and rising cost of living more generally, we expect to observe a significant increase in the number of consumers experiencing financial hardship this year.” The AER will closely monitor retailers’ compliance with hardship obligations and policies. “Our focus will be on ensuring that all eligible customers are able to access the protections they are entitled to…
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