The Victorian Labor Party wants to give the Essential Services Commission the power to name and shame energy companies that breach consumer laws.
If elected in the state’s election on November 29, Labor pledges to publicly name misbehaving energy companies, and fine them up to $20,000.
Labor’s cost of living spokesperson Lily D’Ambrosio told The Australian “Labor’s policy sends a message – if you act illegally you’ll be named and you’ll have to pay up.”
The state’s three biggest retailers are Origin, AGL and Energy Australia, according to the Rank the Energy Retailer report, by the Financial and Consumer Rights Council released last week.
The report identifies the high cost of energy for Victorians and the subsequent financial hardship it causes the community.
The three major suppliers all rated poorly in the report, with Origin receiving the best score of only 5.5 out of 10.
Many consumers were found to not have received adequate support before an account was disconnected, with 18-29% of those surveyed indicated that all three retailers never take appropriate steps to contact the customer and provide support prior to disconnection.
The report stated: “Our data suggests a considerable number of instances where ‘big three’ energy retailers are not fulfilling their obligations under the Energy Retail Code to proactively contact customers to offer relevant assistance before disconnection.”
The new reforms offered by Labor would include a new Wrongful Disconnection Penalty Scheme, fining companies $5000 for each wrongful disconnection in power, as well as compensation for households which have been wrongfully disconnected.
Read more here.
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