Latest news from the Essential Services Commission
Welcome to Essential News, our regular update on key decisions, releases and events from the Essential Services Commission.
 

Funding boost for energy reforms

The Victorian Government has announced a $27.3 million funding boost for the commission over the next four years.

This funding will enable us to take action against energy retailers who breach customer protection rules, and strengthen Victoria's energy reform program.

Girl facing a group of household temperature and lighting controls
 

Energy companies pay penalties

Four energy companies have paid penalties in recent weeks for alleged breaches of energy codes.

United Energy paid $90,000AusNet Services paid $150,000, and Jemena paid $50,000, all for allegedly failing to notify customers of planned power outages.

1st Energy paid a $20,000 penalty for allegedly switching a small business customer without their consent after getting their address mixed up with a nearby aged care home resident.

 

New rules help Victorians compare energy offers

Victorian consumers will soon have access to a new energy fact sheet so they can more confidently compare electricity and gas offers.

Under our new rules, retailers will have to provide customers with a fact sheet showing key information about available energy offers, to be available on retailer websites by 1 July 2019.

 

Updated VEET guidelines to take effect 3 June

Following our recent review of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) Guidelines, we have decided to implement all the key amendments from the draft decision (PDF).

The amended guidelines was gazetted on the Victorian Government Gazette on 16 May 2019. The new guidelines takes effect on 3 June 2019.

Rate capping keeps rates down with limited impact on services

Our report on the outcomes of Victoria's rate capping system has found it has kept a lid on rate rises without having a significant impact on services to ratepayers and asset renewal.

Houses on a hill in the City of Maribyrnong
 

Goulburn-Murray Water tariff under review

We are reviewing prices that Goulburn-Murray Water proposes to charge its customers in the 2019-20 financial year. We intend to approve prices for Goulburn-Murray Water provided they meet the requirements of our 2016 determination (PDF). Once a tariff is approved, we publish the maximum annual tariffs.

 

New protections for energy customers facing family violence

Energy retailers will soon be required to have a family violence policy and meet minimum standards of conduct including better training for frontline staff, improving account security and debt management practices.

 

Preparing to review the Electricity Distribution Code

We have released an approach paper to map out how we will review and update Victoria’s electricity rules on how distribution businesses manage the network.

The review is being undertaken to ensure the Electricity Distribution Code is fit-for-purpose and protects consumers paper.

 

Domestic building insurance premiums at 'appropriate levels'

Our assessment of domestic building insurance premiums has found that the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) is setting premiums that effectively cover expenses, risks and long-term claim costs. Domestic building insurance covers homeowners for defects if their builder dies, disappears or goes out of business.