AGL announces 'A Fairer Way' package for vulnerable customers
Friday, 17 March 2017
AGL CEO & Managing Director, Andy Vesey, today announced the company would make a range of changes to its energy offers to benefit low-income and vulnerable households.
Over the next two months, AGL will be rolling out its ‘A Fairer Way’ package which includes a suite of changes to its energy products, aimed at delivering fairer outcomes for all consumers and to encourage engagement with the competitive retail energy market.
“We have seen extremely competitive discounting across deregulated energy markets, in particular in Victoria. AGL’s current offers include 32 percent off usage charges for electricity and 18 percent for gas. We encourage customers to shop around to take advantage of these discounted products.
“We do acknowledge however, that not all customers have engaged with the market to access these competitive and heavy discounts. So we want to make sure that in this essential service market we have tailored products available for our most vulnerable consumers who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Mr Vesey.
Under A Fairer Way:
- Concession card and hardship program customers are not charged late fees
- Customers participating in AGL’s hardship program, Staying Connected – will be offered guaranteed (non-conditional) discounts
- We will write to customers with a registered concession card who remain on ‘old’ standing offers, offering to assess their needs and move them to a better plan
- Victorian customers on a Standard Retail Contract who receive a government energy concession will also automatically receive a 15% discount off their electricity usage charges, applying from 5 March 2017.
This package delivers a fairer deal for households who rely on affordable and secure energy supplies as they deal with the full spectrum of cost of living pressures.
AGL encourages customers to shop around for the best deal for them and supports greater focus being placed on government comparator websites to ensure that they are easy to use, provide relevant and accurate information and that customers are more aware of them.
AGL has also been investing in community outreach and education for customers in regions of disadvantage to raise awareness. In 2016, AGL invested $500,000 in the Queensland Government ‘Switched On Communities’ project, run by Queensland Council of Social Service to provide grants to local community organisations to raise awareness about the deregulated energy market and provide information on how to compare offers and where to go for assistance.
“We believe this sort of collaborative engagement and awareness raising activity is a shared responsibility across industry, government and the community sector to ensure our most vulnerable customers are supported to engage and navigate the energy market.
“The steps AGL is taking today will deliver material improvements for our customers. We will continue to work with governments and the community sector during this significant time of market transformation to ensure we have a vibrant market that innovates for all Australians,” said Mr Vesey.
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and biomass.