AGL recently responded to the Essential Service Commission of Victoria’s (the Commission’s) draft decision on the technical draft decision for the implementation of new Victorian energy fact sheets. This technical draft decision is the Commission’s response to implementation recommendations 3B-3E of the Independent Review of Electricity and Gas Retail Markets Victoria (Thwaites review).
The aim of these changes is to provide Victorian energy consumers with simple and easy to understand information on pricing and key features of energy offer and help them make informed decisions about the best offer for their circumstances. AGL supports the purpose of the Thwaites recommendations to simplify the market and information available to consumers. AGL worked closely with the Australian Energy Regulator through their updating of Basic Product Information Disclosures (BPID), including providing access to consumer testing of the revised BPID, and the final design and structure of the BPID was significantly influenced from the consumer testing results.
AGL consider that these Thwaites reforms have the potential to further improve customer trust if implemented correctly. Retailers and the Commission must ensure that appropriate time is given to both the consideration of changes through consultation, as well as appropriate time to consider and implement these new changes. AGL therefore implore the Commission and the Government to focus on getting the new requirements right, and implemented in the right way for Victorian consumers, rather than pursuing an unnecessarily tight implementation time-frame.
As the image below shows, the Commission has taken additional time in considering the final requirements for implementing these recommendations which AGL supports. However, the same consideration should be provided to ensuring that implementation can occur properly and not adversely impact customers.