Rule Changes: Completed

Notification of end of fixed benefit period

Reference:
RRC0010
Proponents:
The Honourable Minister Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy on behalf of the Australian Government
Decision:
Rule made
Amending rule:
2017 No. 2
Commenced:
14-Nov-2017 , 01-Feb-2018
Amending chapters:
Part 2 and Schedule 3
Rule version:
9
Other rule versions:

Overview

On 7 November 2017 the AEMC published a final rule and final determination for the Notification of end of fixed benefit period rule change request.

On 7 November 2017 the AEMC published a final rule and final determination for the Notification of end of fixed benefit period rule change request.

The final rule, which is a more preferable rule, requires retailers to notify small electricity and gas customers in advance of changes to benefits (such as percentage discounts) provided in their contracts. This rule is expected to increase consumer engagement with the energy markets and improve competition in those markets.

Implementation of notice requirements

Retailers must provide customers with notices containing basic information from 1 February 2018. These notices will include the date on which the customer’s benefits will change and a reference to the energy comparison website Energy Made Easy, among other things.

The AER will develop guidelines on how retailers should calculate and present more detailed information, including information enabling customers to compare what they might pay if they remain on their current contract with other energy offers. The guidelines are to be published by 1 July 2018 and retailers’ notices must comply with the guidelines by 1 October 2018.

Background

The rule change request was submitted by the Honourable Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy on behalf of the Australian Government on 22 August 2017, under the National Energy Retail Law. It sought to increase customer awareness of changes in retail market contracts by requiring retailers to give customers notice of the end of fixed benefit periods under those contracts.  

The rule change was made using the expedited process as it was considered to be a non-controversial rule as defined in the National Energy Retail Law, and stakeholders did not object to this process.

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