AGL urges the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the Department) to fully consider the customer impacts resulting from the Department’s proposed changes to the NSW Social Programs for Energy Code (the Code), which if left unchanged by the Department could lead to poor customer outcomes.
One area of particular concern for AGL is the application of the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme to a customer’s current consumption charges which, if implemented as set out in the Code, will lead to negative unintended consequences, potentially disconnecting a customer, as the proposed drafting does not reflect retailer system processes nor customer expectations in relation to credited amounts to their accounts. Further, AGL recommends that the Code not duplicate nor expand on the obligations already placed on retailers under the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF), such as those relating to hardship and best offer requirements, as duplication can lead to confusion between obligations and in this instance not justified in accordance with NSW Government’s Regulatory Policy.
AGL reiterated these previously raised concerns in its response to the Department, despite the Department’s advice that it does not anticipate any further changes to the Code before its scheduled gazettal on 1 August 2021.
The submission can be accessed here.