Energy regulator increases focus on enforcement

energy regulator, dmo, default offer, standing offer, energy retailers

Victoria’s energy regulator says Victorian consumers will have issues resolved faster under a revised compliance and enforcement policy, which takes effect from today.

The Essential Services Commission says the updated policy means it can focus on issues that have the greatest impact on customers, as well as increasing scrutiny of energy companies who have broken the rules.

The commission’s energy director Sarah McDowell says the changes mean the regulator will be able to prioritise cases which are of greatest concern to consumers.

“This includes cases of overcharging or customers being switched to a new retailer without their consent.

Related article: Vic Gov’s new direct marketing rules “draconian”

“This approach means we will focus on potential breaches where Victorians face harm, allowing us to deliver better outcomes with a shorter turnaround time,” she said.

Ms McDowell says the majority of stakeholders, including electricity and gas retailers and the Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria, were positive about the new policy

“The policy outlines our approach to acting on breaches of the energy rules ranging from writing warning letters for minor breaches to imposing monetary penalties or taking court action,” she said.

The new policy will take effect immediately.

The commission monitors and reports on compliance with the energy rules in regular energy market reports, and acts on breaches as part of its administration of energy industry legislation.

Related article: Consumers to benefit from Energy Charter launch