AER says "Energy businesses must go above and beyond to support customers doing it tough"
Today the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) issued a statement calling on energy businesses to put customers first during the current global health crisis.
Launching the Statement of Expectations of energy businesses: Protecting consumers and the energy market during COVID-19 the AER has reiterated that energy is an essential service and that the energy market has an important role to play in protecting and supporting businesses and the community through the COVID-19 pandemic and our recovery.
Key AER expectations include:
- that energy retailers offer payment plans or hardship arrangements to all residential and small business customers who indicate they may be in financial stress, regardless of whether the customer meets the ‘usual’ criteria for that assistance;
- no disconnection of any residential or small business customers who may be in financial stress (without their agreement) before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond;
- deferring referrals of customers to debt collection agencies for recovery actions, or credit default listing until at least 31 July 2020; and
- waiving disconnection, reconnection and/or contract break fees for small businesses that have ceased operation, along with daily supply charges to retailers, during any period of disconnection until at least 31 July 2020.
You can read the full media release here.