New protections for energy customers facing family violence

energy, family violence

New protections for customers affected by family violence have now been introduced by the state’s energy regulator.

Victoria’s Essential Services Commission has changed the Energy Retail Code to require energy retailers to have a family violence policy and meet minimum standards of conduct including better training for frontline staff, improving account security and debt management practices.

The changes stem from recommendation 109 from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Commission chair Ron Ben-David says addressing family violence is a priority.

Related article: Hydro Tasmania supports Qld fire training

“Over the last 10 years, the commission has released hundreds of reports and decisions but none are more important than our work on family violence,” he says.

“It has been one of the most rewarding projects in my 10 years as commission chair to work with the energy sector and community experts to ensure customers are supported when they need it.”

The new protections will take effect on January 1, 2020. This will give energy companies time to train staff on how to help customers facing family violence.

In 2018, the commission implemented similar changes to the water customer service code to better protect water customers experiencing family violence.

If you or someone you is experiencing family violence, call 1800 737 732 – open 24hrs.