By Anne Wardell, Compliance Quarter.
The AGL group of companies has paid penalties totalling $60,000 in response to three infringement notices issued individual companies within the group. The infringement notices alleged that between 2013 and 2017, AGL pays penalty for failure to notify more than 1000 customers across NSW, SA and QLD that their fixed term retail contracts were due to end. The infringement notices are available on the AER website here.
The notices alleged a breach of subrule 48(2) of the National Energy Retail Rules which requires a retailer to notify a small customer with a fixed term retail contract when that is to end.
The notice must include:
• the date on which the contract will end;
• details of the prices, terms and conditions applicable to the sale of energy to
• the premises concerned under a deemed customer retail arrangement; and
• the customer’s options for establishing a customer retail contract (including the availability of a standing offer).
Ms Conboy, Chair of the AER, stated that:
“I am particularly concerned that by not telling customers that their retail contracts were due to end, AGL failed to provide customers with time to look around for a better energy deal.
These requirements of the Retail Rules are important safeguards to ensure customers are fully informed and able to make active choices of their retail energy supplier.
Energy Made Easy is a vital source of information for customers looking for a better deal. It contains all generally available offers from all energy retailers in a specific area.
Significant savings can be made, especially if customers are nearing the end of a fixed term contract or a benefit period. This makes it even more important that retailers meet their obligations to notify customers at that time”
(AER media release AGL pays $60,000 penalty for failing to inform customers of contract end).