Ensuring consistency for consumers in retailer hardship policies

AGL recently responded to the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) draft statements for inclusion within energy retailer hardship policies under their upcoming hardship guideline.

Recently we announced we are making improvements to our systems to allow us to identify and support customers who may be in financial hardship. Our revised policy was recently approved by the AER and establishes new predictive measures to identify customers who may be experiencing payment difficulties due to hardship.

We support ensuring customers are provided consistent information to understand their rights and responsibilities under retailer hardship programs to ensure they get the right support.

We consider the role of the AER is to provide for the minimum requirements retailers must meet for hardship policies to be approved under the National Energy Retail Law (NERL). This provides for the intent of the NERL to allow retailer discretion on the management of hardship policies, and to innovate and develop assistance measures in addition to these minimum requirements.

We consider that the AER statements are generally fit-for-purpose but have made a number of suggestions to improve outcomes for both customers and retailers.

You can read our full submission here.