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The energy market is changing rapidly. Customers have more options than ever before when choosing their energy retailer. Customers are taking up solar and battery storage at an increasing rate and new business models are available in the market. While these developments have delivered some benefits to customers, the independent review of the energy market in Victoria found that high prices, confusing discounts and retailer behaviours had eroded customers’ trust and confidence in the energy market.

In this context, the Essential Services Commission has started to lay the foundations to rebuild trust in the energy market. In recent years they have created new obligations for energy businesses to protect vulnerable customers and provide easy to understand information so customers can choose the product that is right for them. It is vital that compliance is continued to be monitored with these new rules and where breaches are found that strong enforcement action is taken. The recent banking Royal Commission highlighted that regulators must be both vigilant and active to build customers’ trust in the market. 

From 2019–20 the Victorian Government is providing additional funding to the commission to help perform this role. As a result, this year the Essential Services Commission will be doing more than in any previous year to build customers’ trust that energy businesses will act fairly and follow the rules. The seven priority areas that will be the focus of the Commission's compliance and enforcement work for 2019–20 are:

  • payment difficulty framework
  • family violence protections
  • best offer and clear advice requirements
  • Victorian Default Offer
  • smart meters
  • Victorian Energy Compare offers
  • embedded networks.
Related Information

Independent review into the electricity and gas retail markets in Victoria: fin… https://apo.org.au/node/102181

Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial S… https://apo.org.au/node/218151

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