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New life support rules from 1 February 2019

Does someone in your home require life support equipment?

From 1 February 2019, energy businesses will need to follow new rules when they supply premises where someone requires life support equipment.

If you have life support equipment, or are advised by your doctor that you need life support equipment, it is important to advise your energy supplier so that they can register you in their systems. This is essential to ensuring that you receive the protections in the National Energy Retail Rules (the rules). A key protection is that life support customers must be given four business days’ notice of any planned interruption to their energy supply so they can make other arrangements.

After you contact your energy supplier, they will send you an information pack outlining the protections in the rules and provide you with a medical confirmation form that you need to have your doctor complete before sending it back to your energy supplier.

If you have previously advised your energy supplier that you or someone in your home requires life support equipment, but have not sent them a medical confirmation form completed by your doctor, your supplier may send you reminder notices. If you still haven’t sent your supplier a completed form after the reminder notices, they may advise you that you will no longer be registered as a life support customer. You can still send the form back at this time.

Remember – it is very important to send this medical confirmation form back to your supplier in order to ensure that you are protected.

If for any reason you miss the reminder notices, you can still be registered as a life support customer, you will just need to contact your energy supplier to let them know.

The AER has released a guide to retailers and distributors on the new obligations around life support, which can be found on the AER website. While this guide is directed mainly at retailers and distributors, it does provide clear information as to the application of the new rules and responsibilities of all parties which you may find useful.