Victorians in apartments and communal properties will be granted new rights from 1 July 2018, thanks to reforms introduced by the Andrews Labor Government.
The Labor Government has given expanded powers to the Essential Services Commission (ESC) to better protect customers living in high-rise apartments, retirement villages and caravan parks – as well as small business operators in shopping centres.
The Labor Government has more than doubled the threshold at which a household can be disconnected – from $132 to $300 – as part of its overhaul of the ESC’s Payment Difficulty Framework.
Electricity retailers will now be able to offer a ‘multi-rate’ tariff for solar – reflecting the value of the electricity generated – with some families able to receive 29 c/kWh during peak periods.
Victorians in apartments are growing in number and often have fewer rights than other electricity consumers, with difficulty identifying who their electricity provider was and no access to help to resolve complaints.
A new register administered by the ESC means they can now find out who their provider is, and they will also now have access to the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria).
The independent Energy and Water Ombudsman resolves disputes between customers and their energy companies, and is free to access for customers.
Customers experiencing difficulties in resolving disputes with their embedded network should contact the ombudsman on 1800 500 509 for assistance.
The online register for embedded networks is available on the (ESC) website at esc.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Our changes will ensure all Victorians have the same access to a free, independent dispute resolution service as everyone else.”
“The Liberals left our electricity market in shambles, with record levels of disconnections. We’re fixing their mess, providing more protection and help for all Victorians as we transition to a new energy future.”