Rule Change: Completed
The AEMC has made a more preferable final retail rule in response to a rule change request from the COAG Energy Council which sought to improve the experience of customers when transferring to new electricity or gas retailers.
The rule request proposed to:
- introduce an address standard for address data used when customers switch retailers, with the aim of reducing transfer errors and delays
- strengthen obligations on retailers to promptly resolve erroneous customer transfers (where a transfer is requested but the wrong customer is transferred).
The final rule sets out specific obligations on retailers to resolve transfers that occurred without the customer’s explicit informed consent. It is a more preferable rule in the National Energy Retail Rules. The key provisions take effect on 3 August 2017.
The final rule is largely the same as the draft rule which was issued for comment on 27 October 2016. Some changes were made to the prohibition on de-energisation in response to stakeholder comments on the draft rule. The final rule prohibits de-energisation where the customer has raised the issue of transfer without consent and the issue has not yet been resolved.
The AEMC determined not to make a final rule in relation to an address standard. The AEMC’s research and consultation indicated that, due to recent and upcoming system improvements by market participants, an address standard would not be effective in further reducing transfer errors and delays.
The final rule determination sets out the AEMC’s reasons for making a more preferable rule on resolving transfers without consent, and for not making a rule on an address standard.
The rule change process
A consultation paper was published on 28 April 2016 to facilitate initial public consultation on the rule change request. Submissions on the consultation paper are available below.
The AEMC also held a workshop on the issues raised in the rule request in Sydney on 24 June 2016. The agenda and the presentation on improving the accuracy of customer transfers are below.
A draft rule and a draft rule determination were published on 27 October 2016. Submissions on the draft determination are available below.
A final rule and a final rule determination were published on 2 February 2017.
This rule change request, received in November 2015, is based on two recommendations from the AEMC’s 2014 Review of Electricity Customer Switching which found issues with the accuracy and timeliness of customer transfers. The review made six recommendations to improve specific aspects of the customer transfer process, including the two recommendations in this rule request
The AEMC has also made a final determination on a separate rule request (ERC0196) on another of the review’s recommendations, regarding the use of estimated meter reads for customer transfers.