The application of the measures in the Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct Bill will rely on the meaning and interpretation of key concepts, such as the interpretation of the phrase “sustained and substantial”.
In considering how such terms are interpreted, the Guidelines should reflect plain English, generally understood meanings that are linked to consumer outcomes and experiences. We have seen recent initiatives, like the Energy Charter, which build on commitments to put consumers at the centre of their businesses.
This context means energy companies must be prepared to justify their decisions in broader terms than narrow legal or economic tests, in a way that goes to the consumers and community interests. The Guidelines should encourage energy businesses, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to take a holistic view of conduct.
The full submission can be read here.