The Commission has published a final rule which will lead to shorter switching times for people who want to change their energy retailer. This is part of a wider AEMC-AEMO joint work program to simplify and improve the customer switching process. 

The new rule provides flexibility to AEMO and industry to update their processes so customers can be transferred from one retailer to another retailer in two days – regardless of the type of meter they may have.

The final rule released today follows the joint advice provided by the AEMC and AEMO to the COAG Energy Council in December 2018. That advice proposed improvements to the national electricity market’s customer transfer process, taking into account the related recommendations eight and nine of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Retail electricity pricing inquiry final report.

Consequently, AEMO proposed a high level design to reform the customer transfer process. It proposes new market processes that will provide for customers to transfer electricity retailers within two days irrespective of their metering type — being either an accumulation or advanced meter. This process will stop “retail save” activity and allow customers faster access to prices and products that they want. 

Today's final rule makes amendments to the national electricity rules (NER) and the national energy retail rules (NERR) to enable AEMO and industry to move forward with the new customer switching process. 

We have also analysed consumer protections for customer transfers as part of this rule change process. This was because the high level design may result in a greater use of estimate meter reads being used for customer transfers. At this stage we consider the current rules contain sufficient consumer protections and therefore no further amendments are required. 

The Commission will be working collaboratively with industry, market bodies and jurisdictional ombudsmen schemes to monitor the implementation of the new switching process. 

The new switching process will be implemented once AEMO has consulted with stakeholders on the procedure changes.

Media: Kellie Bisset, Media and Content Manager, 0438 490 041; (02) 8296 7813