Statement of expectations ends but some protections remain
The Australian Energy Regulator's Statement of Expectations ended on 30 June 2021, but some protections remain.
The Australian Energy Regulator's (AER’s) Statement of Expectations ended on June 30, 2021, they have developed a standby statement to provide key protections for consumers under ‘stay-at-home orders’ due to COVID-19.
The AER standby Statement of Expectations will provide additional protections to residential and small business customers impacted by an extended lockdown, with protections to apply during a lockdown period and for two weeks after the stay-at-home order ends.
During these periods, the AER expects energy businesses to adhere to the following three temporary standby principles, beyond the law and rules, to support affected consumers:
- Offer all residential and small business consumers who indicate they may be in financial stress a payment plan or hardship arrangement.
- Do not disconnect any residential or small business consumers who may be in financial stress (including residential and small business consumers in an embedded network) without their agreement.
- Defer referrals of residential and small business consumer to debt collection agencies for recovery actions or credit default listing.
The standby expectations currently apply to customers affected by the Greater Sydney lockdown. AER Chair Clare Savage said the AER will continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and is ready to respond to extend the protections if necessary.
“We know this is a difficult time for many energy consumers and we will be watching to make sure they are protected,” Ms Savage said.
“We encourage those consumers to reach out to their retailer if they need help and help will be provided.”
For more information on the new protection measures, visit the AER website.