Utilities

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When it commenced on 1 January 2019 the Payment Difficulty Framework (PDF) represented a major shift in the Victorian retail energy sector’s response to payment difficulty. This is an EWOV article. Under the PDF, energy retailers have been required to take a much more proactive and tailored approach when assisting financially struggling customers. Almost two…

Read More Missing the Mark: EWOV insights on the impact of the Payment Difficulty Framework

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Victoria has taken the lead among Australian states in recent years with significant reforms designed to protect Victorians from being ripped off by energy retailers and ensure people receive appropriate hardship assistance. There has been some success, but too many people are still falling through the gaps. This is a Consumer Action Media Release That’s…

Read More Victoria’s energy reforms positive but enforcement needed: Consumer Action

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The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Friday published Testing Comprehension of the Reference Price, research jointly commissioned from the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). This research provides new insights about the ways consumers understand electricity offers and the AER and the ACCC will use these insights to consider how…

Read More New research shines light on how consumers understand electricity offers

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A new research report by the Consumer Policy Research Centre explores the global response to COVID-19, with nationwide survey of 1114 Australians showing people are drawing on limited resources just to make ends meet. 12 million Australians are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their financial wellbeing; 1 in 5 are ‘very’ concerned Almost…

Read More 1 in 4 Australians are struggling to pay for essentials such as energy, groceries and insurance, adding to existing rent and mortgage stress

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The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the Australia Institute, and Total Environment Centre today welcomed a ‘demand response’ reform of Australia’s electricity market that will improve reliability and reduce prices for consumers. The groups also welcome the AEMC’s decision to maintain the early, 2021 implementation date for the rule which they had advocated for. The three…

Read More Major consumer-led energy reform finalised

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The Board of Energy Consumers Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Lynne Gallagher as its interim CEO. Energy Consumers Australia Chair, Louise Sylvan AM, said Ms Gallagher was well-placed to lead the organisation for the next twelve months. “Australian households and small businesses are grappling with unprecedented economic, health and social pressures. The…

Read More Interim Energy Consumers Australia CEO Appointed

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Commenting after the COAG Energy Council meeting on Friday, Energy Consumers Australia CEO Lynne Gallagher welcomed the call for the energy sector to implement measures to relieve pressures on energy consumers.   “It is critical the energy sector moves rapidly and in a coordinated way to implement measures to ensure all households and small businesses…

Read More Energy companies’ response to COVID-19 must be rapid, coordinated and ambitious to protect consumers

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South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) today launched its report, Working to Make Ends Meet: Low-income Workers and Energy Bill Stress. The report investigates households whose main source of income is wages but who are still living below the “poverty line”. This report, based on national statistical data and South Australian case studies, is…

Read More SACOSS’ Working to Make Ends Meet Report highlights energy affordability struggles for “waged poor” households

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The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has acted on a request from the Hon Angus Taylor MP, Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, to limit conditional discounts on energy deals. The draft rule comes with a recommended penalty of up to $100,000 for retailers who fail to comply. Under our proposal consumers would no longer pay unreasonable…

Read More Limiting conditional discounts on energy offers: have your say

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Tap water is one of our most important and basic necessities. Most Australians don’t have to worry about getting sick from the water they’re supplied with. The downside of ensuring safe drinking water is the lingering taste and smell of disinfectant, causing many people to opt for a water filtering system (read more here). Water treatment…

Read More Standard on drinking water treatment units open for public comment

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Consumer protection regulators are running a national campaign to help consumers avoid paying extra fees to receive bills in the post. People who prefer to receive paper bills are usually seniors, consumers on a low income, or people without internet access, which means that vulnerable consumers end up paying extra just to pay their bills.…

Read More How to stop paying fees for bills you receive in the mail