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Submission to DELWP on Protections for Consumers of Distributed Energy Resources Consultation Paper


Energy Consumers Australia

It is our view that current regulatory consumer protections are not fit for purpose as the energy system transitions. Energy regulation was built based on a one-way seller/buyer relationship, with power resting with the seller and rules to mitigate harm to the buyer. This relationship is changing as consumers choose to engage with consumer energy resources (CER) now and into the future, making them more active participants.

We are pleased to see the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) taking first steps in exploring whether additional consumer protections are needed for Victoria’s energy transition. We advocate for a consumer protections framework built on:

  • Consumer agency:  In a market that will only get more complex, consumers need to feel they have agency to engage and make the decisions that benefit them.
  • Consumer protections and rights: Regulatory frameworks need to keep pace with the way in which energy will be bought rather than how it has traditionally been sold. This means replacing the current narrow framework, one which focuses on consumers simply buying energy from their retailer, with a robust and comprehensive framework for protections and rights for consumers of both traditional and new energy services.
  • Access to dispute resolution: We support universal access to free and independent dispute resolution. We encourage considering the cross services and bundling that we are and likely to see, and the journey a consumer may need to take when seeking redress.

Read our full submission here.

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