We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) National Energy Retail Amendment (Bill Contents and Billing Requirements) Rule Consultation Paper.
We agree that there are opportunities to improve billing to deliver simpler, more understandable bills for energy consumers. Our own research shows that a large number of consumers think there is room for improvement in the communications they receive from their energy company. Almost one third of respondents to our June 2020 Energy Consumer Sentiment Survey did not positively rate the billing and account options (such as monthly billing or online accounts) from their supplier.
Additionally, in our view, transitioning away from the prescriptive rules to a principles-based approach can deliver better consumer outcomes. Used in conjunction with subordinate instruments, such as mandatory guidelines or industry codes, it can remain flexible and responsive to change, yet provide useful guidance to businesses on expectations. It would also enable greater flexibility and innovation for energy services providers who are looking to go ‘above and beyond’ the letter of the law to deliver for their customers.
Read our full submission here.