Electricity and gas meter self-reads a step closer
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has made a draft determination which, if implemented, will give consumers the right to request an inaccurately estimated energy bill be adjusted in accordance with the customer’s own reading of their electricity or gas meter.
“This draft determination endorses the core elements of the Turnbull government’s rule change proposal made in March, requesting the AEMC improve the National Energy Retail Rules to take action on bills based on inaccurately estimated usage,” said Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.
“The proposed amendments to the rules will reduce the risk of customers being exposed to the financial shock of significant under- or overcharging due to an inaccurately estimated bill.”
Beyond requiring retailers to adjust an estimated bill with a self-read at the customer’s request, the proposed changes will also introduce an obligation on retailers to inform customers of their right to request an adjusted bill.
The AEMC has also recommended the introduction of civil penalty provisions if a retailer does not comply with these new obligations. “While some retailers already offer their customers the ability to submit a self-reading of their meter, these changes will ensure everyone has the ability to rectify an inaccurately estimated bill,” Frydenberg said.
These new rules will complement actions already taken by the Turnbull government as part of the plan to deliver more affordable energy for Australian households, including: a rule change requiring energy retailers to notify their customers when their discounts are about to finish or change; a rule change proposal requiring retailers to provide their customers with advance notice of price changes; and a rule change proposal to reduce the time it takes to install new meters.
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