Consultation for AER on Developing a Toolkit to Identify and Support Vulnerable Consumers

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Original text from the AER (8/03/2024).

The Australian Energy Regulator is developing a toolkit to help consumer-facing energy businesses identify and engage with consumers experiencing vulnerability. The toolkit has been informed by:

  • existing research and guidance
  • consumer journey mapping workshops with retailers and financial counsellors
  • conversations with energy retailers and distributors within the national energy market
  • workshops with consumer advocates and representatives.

It summarises insights from these sources into 6 better practice principles:

  • Build an organisational culture focused on strong customer relationships and better consumer outcomes
  • Design for all consumers
  • Deliver customer service that engages effectively with vulnerability
  • Collaborate with other organisations
  • Use data to improve outcomes
  • Commit to continuously improving consumer experiences and outcomes

The toolkit has been designed to help staff at consumer-facing energy businesses better identify and engage with consumers experiencing vulnerability. It includes illustrative consumer stories, better practice insights and case studies, and summaries of how to put each principle into practice.

In October 2022, the AER launched Towards energy equity – a strategy for an inclusive energy market. Their strategy seeks to tackle the enduring issues that prevent people from getting what they need from Australia’s energy system. The toolkit is action 2 from the strategy.

Customer Engagement Toolkit – Draft for Consultation – March 2024.