Energy customers benefit under one scheme

Saturday 12 December 2009, 8:55AM
By Pansy Wong

Electricity and gas customers will next year have a single, free, effective and independent disputes resolution service where they can lodge complaints about energy retailers and distributors.

Hon Pansy Wong has approved a proposal that on April 1, 2010, will see the current Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner Scheme extended to provide a single nationwide resolution service. This will be a vast improvement on the existing model of having four different schemes.

"It is in customers' best interests to be able to go to a single independent source to lodge their complaints and I am glad that this is happening," Mrs Wong says. "I am grateful for the hard work and cooperation of Consumer Affairs Minister Hon Heather Roy, Gas Industry Company and the Electricity Commission - this result is to the benefit of energy customers everywhere."

The scheme will include:

  • Mandatory involvement of all electricity and gas retailers and distributors.
  • An independent commissioner with overall accountability for decision-making.
  • A complaints commission with a balanced board of consumer and industry representatives to oversee the work of the commissioner.
  • Industry experienced conciliators to handle enquiries, mediate disputes and assist with determinations.