AER’s Annual compliance and enforcement report 2020-21

Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on facebook
Facebook

A report published by the AER highlights the range of enforcement activities undertaken during 2020-21 and serves as a clear warning to energy retailers of the importance of ensuring compliance with the Rules and Laws.

Source: AER’s Annual compliance and enforcement report 2020-21

The AER has highlighted actions relating to failures by energy retailers in areas including wrongful disconnection, failure to provide life support protections to vulnerable customers, and failure to meet timeframes for installing and repairing meters used to calculate customers’ energy bills.

Highlights from the report include energy businesses paying a total of $3.8 Million in civil penalties as part of resolutions to litigation commenced by the AER and a further $960,000 being paid in infringement notices for alleged breaches of the Laws.

Source: AER’s Annual compliance and enforcement report 2020-21

During the year, the AER obtained two new court enforceable undertakings with the completion of five compliance audits and a number of voluntary commitment from energy businesses to improve their compliance practices.

As we have noted in earlier posts, the AER has a range of new enforcement powers and so we can expect the size of penalties to increase this financial year. The AER notes

“In the most serious cases, the AER will be able to seek penalties of up to $10 million (or potentially more for large companies) for alleged breaches of the energy laws. We expect the new penalties to provide a greater incentive for businesses to comply with laws designed to protect Australian electricity and gas consumers.”

The AER takes a risk based approach in conducting enforcement activities and can be expected to focus on those areas highlighted in our post in enforcement priorities for 2021-2022.

More to explorer

Site engineer on a construction site

Is Victoria really banning Embedded Networks, or just Re-naming them?

In a recent article, we summarised the findings of the Expert Panel in the Victorian Embedded Networks Review Draft Recommendations Report (Report). The implementation of the Panel’s recommendations would see the end of ‘embedded networks’ by 2023. However, subject to certain conditions, ‘private networks’ will remain.

modern building, business building

Submission to the AER’s Network and Retail Exemption Guidelines Review

We’ve submitted that the AER should consider implementing a ‘fast track approval’ process for the approval of proposed retrofit conversions of sites where the resulting embedded network would clearly bring consumers better pricing and where the configuration of the network infrastructure facilitates consumers who wish to ‘opt-out.’

As energy sellers know, the regulatory framework is partly designed to set the minimum standards of conduct expected and to punish those that are non-compliant. We believe that it is time that incentives were built into the regulatory framework. Where energy sellers develop products or services that have a clear consumer benefit, they should be rewarded by, for example, faster approvals. Faster approvals result in better commercial outcomes for energy sellers and those should be tied to consumer benefits.

Melbourne City

Update on Victoria’s proposal to ‘ban’ embedded networks

In January we reported on updates to the Victorian Government’s proposal to ‘ban’ embedded networks within residential developments. The Expert Panel that was established by the Victorian Government to determine how to implement this ban has now produced a draft report. The Expert Panel is accepting submissions and the consultation period for the draft report closes on 6 August 2021 at 5 PM. The Expert Panel is particularly interested in submissions on the following: • The proposed requirement to have

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *