We appreciate the opportunity to make this joint submission in conjunction with the Consumer’s Federation of Australia (CFA), the peak body for consumer organisations in Australia.
On 17 April 2020, the Australian Energy Council (AEC) lodged an application for authorisation on behalf of itself, its member energy retailers, and other energy retailers in Australia. The AEC seeks authorisation to enable its members, and other energy retailers notified to the ACCC, to discuss, share information and enter into arrangements to provide financial and other relief to energy users who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This relief may include residential customers, as well as business customers of all sizes.
This submission is in response to the ACCC’s invitation to interested parties to make a submission about the application by the Australian Energy Council Limited (AEC) and its members and other retailers of gas or electricity which was made on 17 April 2020. This led to the ACCC’s interim authorisation made on 1 May (the interim authorisation).
We are generally supportive of the AEC’s application and the interim authorisation, however we have suggested some enhancements that could be made which we outline here.