Review seeks a better deal for Qld energy customers

Queenslanders are being asked for their views on whether Queensland’s energy and consumer protection laws are supporting householders and small business.

Acting Energy Minister Mark Furner said three-year-old laws were now under review, including looking at how well they protect battlers and helped consumers get the best deal.

“Queensland has the lowest average electricity prices on the eastern seaboard, but in the south-east corner, consumers need to be shopping around to get the benefit of competition,” he said.

“This review poses the question about what more can be done to reduce confusion and inform customers better so they can compare retailers’ offers.

“And importantly, we are also asking what more can be done to help low income, vulnerable and disadvantaged householders better manage their energy costs.”

A discussion paper released today poses 21 questions about the operation of the National Energy Retail Law. The law was introduced in Queensland in 2015. to regulate the sale and supply of energy to consumers.

Protections in place now mean:

  • consumers receive advanced warning about the expiry of benefits like price discounts.
  • retailers must offer at least one market contract with no exit fee. All other market contract exit fees must be capped at $20.
  • retailers must tell consumers about concessions and rebates in disconnection warning notices.
  • distributors can no longer ask customers for security deposits.
  • consumers on standard retail contracts have the right to ask for their bills to be smoothed to avoid summer ‘peak’ bills.

Mr Furner said the review was open for feedback from customers, consumer groups, community advocates and retailers.

Consultation is open until 15 March.

Read the discussion paper here.

Find out more and comment at Get Involved.

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