The Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON) has announced changes to its Constitution and a new funding model. This follows an extensive review conducted by EWON in response to the requirement for Exempt Entities to become members of EWON. In this article, we look at the changes including expanded jurisdiction and a new fee structure.
By Anne Wardell, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter.
KPMG Final Report
As part of the review, EWON commissioned KPMG to assist and review proposed models. On 9 May 2018, KPMG released its Final report: KPMG’s Final report on membership model, fees, voting rights and Board composition (the Report). The Report considered the following issues:
• Membership model;
• Fee structure;
• Member voting rights; and
• Board composition.
The Report includes the following summary:
The Report also includes the following useful summary:
The new Funding Model
As you can see the new Funding Model has been designed to accommodate the types of exempt entities which have smaller customer numbers than the large energy retailers.
The EWON Board has also delegated the discretion to the Ombudsman, Janine Young, to recommend to the Board that some new exempt entity members are offered a varied fee or a payment plan in appropriate circumstances. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting on 7 June 2018, EWON’s members voted to approve the necessary changes to EWON’s Constitution to enable exempt entities to join EWON. The Constitutional amendments include the following:
- changes to the voting rights of members;
- composition of Industry Directors on the Board; and
- director tenure.
EWON will continue to have a Board consisting of five Directors representing consumer interests, five Directors representing industry directors and an independent Chair.
The Ombudsman will also establish an operational advisory group comprised of representatives of Exempt Entities and WICA (Water Industry Competition Act 2006 (NSW)) Providers. The first meeting of this group is scheduled for 31 July 2018. If you would like to attend the meeting, please contact Stephanie Saill, Manager Governance on 02 8218 5257 or by email to [email protected].
In relation to voting rights, Clause 9.7 provides that each member present at the General Meeting is entitled to cast that number of votes which is equal to the midpoint of the Customer Bandwidth into which the Member falls.
In relation to Industry Directors, Clause 10.10 provides as follows:
The Industry Directors must comprise:
a) two directors who were nominated by a Member in the energy retail sector;
b) one director who was nominated by a Member in the energy network sector;
c) one director who was nominated by a Member in the water sector; and
d) one director nominated by a Member in accordance with Clause 10.16(b).
Clause 10.16(b) provides for invitations to nominate candidates to be sent to various members in the event of a vacancy.
Further information is available on the EWON website at EWON Expanded Jursidiction Final Report.
Please contact the Compliance Quarter team by clicking here if you’d like to know more or have any questions for us.