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

Kate Symons announced as new chair

Kate Symons was announced as our new full-time commissioner and chair earlier this month.

Chief executive John Hamill called the announcement by Assistant Treasurer Robin Scott, the minister responsible for the commission, a strong vote of confidence in the organisation.

“Kate has made an important contribution to the commission’s development over the past three years as we have grown in size and responsibilities."

A woman's hand turning off a light switch

Energy disconnections down by more than half

We have released our latest Victorian Energy Market Update, which provides important information about the market largely covering April to June 2019.

According to the report, energy disconnections fell more than half between January and June 2019, compared to the same time last year.

The report also provides updates on our compliance actions, outcomes from our recent public information campaign, feed-in tariff rates, and newly licensed energy companies.


Reviewing exempt person registration guidelines

We have released the draft decision from our review of the Registration Guideline for Exempt Persons, and are seeking feedback until 11 October 2019.

We have undertaken an administrative review of the guideline following discussions with stakeholders, and propose to make changes to provide clarity for stakeholders.

Draft decision on default electricity price for 2020

We have released our draft ruling on the default price for electricity for 2020 with prices set to rise slightly in line with inflation.

We are seeking feedback on the draft decision until 17 October 2019.

Essential Services Commission director, Marcus Crudden

Spotlight on Port of Melbourne rents

We are preparing for our first inquiry to assess the use of market power in setting and reviewing land rents at the Port of Melbourne. It covers the period 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2019.

We will be checking whether charges issued by Australia’s largest port mean consumers are paying more for everyday goods coming through the port.

We have released a scoping paper outlining the rent inquiry process and key questions and are seeking feedback until 25 October 2019.


More scrutiny on energy retailers to highlight impact of energy reform

We are planning to update reporting requirements for electricity businesses to ensure households are being offered the Victorian Default Offer, as well as being told if they’re on their retailer’s ‘best offer’ for them.

The new reporting requirements are included in our Compliance and Performance Reporting Guideline review draft decision, which is open for consultation until 14 October 2019.