Utilities

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More Australians will now have access to support from financial counsellors with the launch of the Financial Counselling Industry Fund (FCIF). The FCIF is the result of a collaboration between the financial counselling sector and a number of industries and companies – Australian Banking Association member banks, Australian Energy Council, Energy Networks Australia, Insurance Council…

Read More Financial Counselling Industry Fund Launches

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A new report released today has found improvements are needed to the quality of advice and supports, and to the service provided by retailers and other energy service providers, or culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) consumers risk being left behind in the energy transition. The joint Insights Report by Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) and Sydney Community Forum (SCF) is…

Read More CALD Communities in need of urgent supports for energy transition

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Original media release by and from Energy Consumers Australia (19/03/2024). Energy Consumers Australia CEO Brendan French: “We are pleased that the AER’s draft decision is to reduce the retail margins allowed in the Default Market Offer in recognition of the cost of living demands on consumers. This is something we have called for in our…

Read More Energy Consumers Australia Responds to Regulators Draft Default Market Offer

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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: It summarises insights from these sources into 6 better practice principles: The toolkit has been designed to help staff at consumer-facing energy businesses…

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

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A lack of transparent pricing information caused a poor understanding by consumers of how prices were set. This was significantly worsened by a lack of competition. While market concentration was a major issue, the inquiry found prices in Australia are way higher than in many other less competitive markets.

Large price increases occurred across many sectors.

Read More Supermarkets, airlines and power companies are charging ‘exploitative’ prices despite reaping record profits

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Across Australia, 13 incidents of property damage have been linked to the affected batteries, including a house in Victoria that was destroyed.

Following a recommendation by the ACCC, the proposed recall notice was issued by the Assistant Treasurer because it appears to him that LG has not taken satisfactory action to prevent the affected batteries causing injury to any person.

Read More Compulsory Recall for Dangerous LG Solar Batteries Proposed

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A report from our Consumers International Global Congress representative, Deputy Chair Chandni Gupta Final day of the 2023 Global Congress and the pace remained fast and fascinating with enlightening presentations with a key focus on sustainability to close off the conference. Below are some highlights from Day 3. Sustainable appliances for a green transition An…

Read More Building a Resilient Future – Day 3 of Consumers International Global Congress

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Telstra has paid a $3,010,320 penalty and refunded over $17.7 million to thousands of customers after charging them for inactive internet services over an 11-year period. A further $3.4 million is to be refunded by the end of the year.

An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found that 6,532 customers, the majority of whom were small businesses, were wrongly billed by Telstra an average of around $2,600 between April 2012 and August 2023.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the ACMA has lost patience with Telstra after this series of significant billing errors.

Read More Telstra to Pay $24 million in Penalties and Refunds for Inaccurate Billing

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A national survey of 2,500 household energy consumers found that 48% of households did not recall seeing anything in the media or online in the last 12 months about how to reduce their energy costs or usage. Those who did recall seeing information often found it complex and irrelevant.

The results show that while households are interested in learning about saving on their energy use and bills, their trust is low in the energy market to provide them with good advice.

Read More Single, Trusted Source for Australian Energy Consumers Needed

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The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has welcomed the Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council’s (ECMC) decision to progress work on a proposed package of Game changer reforms that will deliver significant improvements in outcomes for energy consumers experiencing vulnerability.

Under the comprehensive package, consumers would receive concessions they are entitled to and those in hardship would receive their retailer’s best offer to help them lower their bills.

Read More ‘Game changer reforms’ for Vulnerable Consumers will Progress

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Original media release from ECA (23/11/2023). Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) CEO Brendan French, quoted in response to the Capacity Investment Scheme: quote Energy Consumers Australia CEO Brendan French: “Energy Consumers Australia welcomes this morning’s announcement which is both an important step in providing reliable supply to consumers and also a continued firm commitment by Federal…

Read More Energy Consumers Australia Welcomes Announcement of Capacity Investment Scheme, Calls for More Work for Consumers