Victorian Energy Retail Code of Practice (formerly the Energy Retail Code)

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On 1 March 2022, the Victorian Energy Retail Code of Practice took effect. 

The rules previously existed in a different iteration (Energy Retail Code), however in December 2021, Victorian legislative changes deemed existing energy codes as ‘codes of practice’.  To fully implement the new enforcement framework and effect the conversion, the Essential Services Commission (ESC) undertook a 6 month review and consultation process, which culminated in the final version of the Energy Retail Code of Practice being published.

The new code has no substantive changes to the obligations for licensees or exempt persons.  In the final decision, the ESC noted that the process of converting the existing code to a ‘code of practice’ was primarily an administrative one.  Chiefly, the changes involved re-numbering provisions, and minor clarifications. 

This was to ensure the change could be in place for the broader implementation of the governments Energy Farness Plan, with the commencement of the Energy Legislation Amendment (Energy Fairness) Act 2021 on 1 May 2022 (and some Parts commencing 1 March 2022). 

This foreshadows potential future substantive changes, to take into account issues raised during the consultation and respond to further changes in the energy landscape.

At this stage, no action needs to be taken by retailers, except potentially updating any references to Energy Retail Code provisions in existing policy documents.  The ESC has also made consequential amendments to other codes and guidelines to reflect these changes.

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