Understanding Part 3 of the National Energy Retail Rules: Customer Hardship

Understanding Part 3 of the National Energy Retail Rules: Customer Hardship

AU Energy Compliance, Consumer
Introduction The National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) are a set of rules that regulate the retail sale of electricity and gas to customers in those states that have adopted the national framework within the National Energy Market (NEM). The NERR aim to protect the interests of customers and promote efficient and competitive retail markets. The NERR cover various aspects of the retail relationship, such as contracts, billing, payment, disconnection, connection, metering and customer information. One of the key components of the NERR is Part 3, which deals with customer hardship. Customer hardship refers to the situation where a customer is unable to pay their energy bills due to financial difficulties, such as unemployment, illness, family breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances. Customer hardship can affect anyone, regardless of their income, location…
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Revisiting Financial Hardship Obligations in NECF

Revisiting Financial Hardship Obligations in NECF

AU Energy Compliance, Consumer
As interest rates continue to climb so too does the risk of electricity customers being placed in a position where they are not able to pay their bills on time. 'Hardship' can be experienced by anyone and everyone, whether you are working full time or rely on government support. Energy retailers in NECF have a range of obligations in relation to hardship and, as we move towards winter bills, should be reviewing their existing processes to ensure that they are providing the best support possible to those customers facing payment difficulties. Under the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR), energy retailers in Australia have obligations to support customers experiencing payment difficulties or hardship. Part 3 of the NERR outlines specific requirements for retailers to identify, assist and protect hardship customers. Retailers…
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AGL’s Customer Hardship Audit

AGL’s Customer Hardship Audit

Uncategorized
On 7 May 2021 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released the results of the latest compliance audit under the National Energy Retail Law. AGL Energy Ltd carried out an audit to assess compliance with its hardship, payment plan and disconnection obligations for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 April 2020. With the exception of one instance of non- compliance, the audit found that AGL complied in all material respects with its hardship, payment plans, and disconnection obligations. AGL rectified the issue giving rise to the partial compliance by updating its retail systems. Hardship Obligations Part Two of the National Energy Retail Law and Parts Three and Six of the National Energy Retail Rules set out obligations that retailers have in relation to payment plans, hardship policies, debt recovery, and…
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Paying electricity bills using Centrepay

Paying electricity bills using Centrepay

AU Energy Compliance
It is essential that all businesses in the energy industry understand their obligations to customers undergoing financial hardship. We talked about upcoming regulatory change around customer hardship policies here https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/are-you-paying-lip-service-to-your-customer-hardship-obligations/. An important aspect of the National Energy Retail Rules relating to customer hardship are the processes for customer payment using the ‘Centrepay’ system. In today’s article, we explain when a business needs to provide Centrepay as an option and the requirements for applying for approval to provide Centrepay. Photo by Carlo Trolese on Unsplash By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter Centrepay and associated obligations Centrepay is a bill-paying service that is free to use for Centrelink customers. Through Centrelink, a customer can choose to authorise deduction of regular amounts from their welfare payments to pay bills to an authorised business.[1] It…
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Energy Updates: Customer Hardship.

Energy Updates: Customer Hardship.

AU Energy Compliance
This morning we ran a webinar on Customer Hardship. A recording of the webinar is available to our clients via the Compliance HUB. If you are not already a Compliance HUB client please get in touch. Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash Customer hardship - Electricity costs disproportionately affecting low-income households. Over the past 10 years, the average electricity bill has gone up by 44 percent (adjusted for inflation) (ACCC preliminary report). Over the same period, real wages have only increased by 6 percent (ABS). "There are some people who think the more loyal you are, the more you'll get looked after, the lower price you get. "I'm afraid the reverse is true "The more loyal you are, very likely the more you're paying.“- Rod Sims, ACCC. View the webinar here: https://zoom.us/recording/play/vgkPU-IiipzoYo2NkGWsWk4v9mxiYKFMVvIPYSOLGAhHVfTGf_ViogBlYIRyjI1g 
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