Latest news from the Essential Services Commission
Essential News: August 2019
Welcome to Essential News, our regular update on key decisions, releases and events from the Essential Services Commission.
 

Introducing our newest commissioner

Sitesh Bhojani has been announced as our newest commissioner, and will join us from next month.

Sitesh is a barrister and previously served eight years as a commissioner of the ACCC.

A woman's hand turning off a light switch
 

Victorian Default Offer for 2020

We have commenced our work on setting next year’s Victorian Default Offer prices for electricity, consulting on an issues paper earlier this month. We are planning to release our draft decission in September.

 

Strengthening protections for life support customers

We have released a draft decision that seeks to establish better processes for the way life support customers are registered as well as better communication between energy businesses.

We are seeking feedback on the draft decision until 13 September 2019.

 

Momentum Energy customer compensation

More than 800 Momentum Energy customers will be entitled to compensation after we found that the company failed to inform customers they could be disconnected remotely.

 

Energy audit program 2019-20

We have released our 2019-20 energy audit program, which will focus on assessing the implementation of new rules designed to help customers navigate the energy market.

We will look at how energy businesses are implementing key reforms such as the Victorian Default Offer, family violence protections and the best energy offer, to ensure energy businesses are playing by the rules.

Energy forum recap and presentations

This week we held forum for over 100 energy industry and community stakeholders, discussing energy reforms such as the retail market review, the Victorian Default Offer, the Electricity Distribution Code review and protections for life support customers.

View a recap and download presentations from the day →

Participants at our 2019 energy forum
 

Family violence better practice guide released

Our new better practice guide will help water and energy businesses to implement safe and effective family violence responses.

recent report showed that customers experiencing family violence are getting more support from water businesses since we strengthened customer protections.

 

Reviewing the Electricity Distribution Code

We have released an issues paper on the first phase of our Electricity Distribution Code review, and are seeking feedback by 9 September 2019.

The paper looks at the best way to update technical standards to keep up with advances in energy, such as solar power and micro-grids, while maintaining power stability and reliability. It also examines when distributors should notify Victorians of planned power outages.

 

Energy compliance and enforcement priorities 2019-20

At our energy forum on 23 July, energy director Sarah McDowell outlined our priorities for the 2019-20 financial year.

Our compliance and enforcement priroties include working to restore trust in the energy market by focusing on promoting and enforcing compliance in our priority areas.