Overview

The Essential Services Commission is implementing the Victorian Government’s commitment to reduce the allowable back-billing period for energy retailers from nine months to four months. This change will ensure that Victorian consumers can only be back-billed for up to four months of past energy use when they have done nothing wrong.

How does this affect you?

Energy retailers may back-bill their customers when they have been undercharged or not charged at all for energy they have used in the past. These changes will reduce the period that customers can be back-billed for past energy use.

What are we proposing to do?

In December 2019, the government asked the Essential Services Commission to implement this commitment. The commission has published a draft decision that proposes the same obligations for energy distributors and retailers to ensure customers are not back-billed for more than four months when they are not at fault.

The new allowable back-billing period would take effect from 1 January 2021.

The commission is consulting on a draft decision for how these changes will be implemented. It is proposing that:

  • Retailers may only recover any amount undercharged in the four months before they notify the customer, unless the undercharging was a result of the customer’s fault or unlawful act or omission
  • An electricity or gas distributor is not permitted to recover charges from a retailer if the retailer is unable to recover those charges from a customer.
  • The code amendments giving effect to the back-billing rule change will take effect on 1 January 2021.

Have your say on how we implement these changes

We are seeking your feedback on the commission’s draft decision. You can provide feedback in the general comments form or upload a submission document on this page by 27 March 2020. Your feedback will inform our final decision which will be made in June 2020.

Consultation on this project has now closed.

General comments

General comments

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Collection Notice

As part of making a submission, we need you to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, and postcode. We will use this information to send you updates about this review.

It is our policy to publish all submissions to reviews on the Essential Services Commission website. You can request anonymity by selecting the relevant tickbox.

When we publish a submission, we also include some details about the submitter (your name, not your address). We treat all submissions as public information unless the submitter has asked us to.

We may also collect personal information when you email us with a query. Aside from any exceptions in relevant privacy legislation, we will not use or disclose the information you provide for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query.

You have the right to access personal information we hold about you. We may ask you to pay a small fee for this. You can also request that we correct your personal information in our records at no charge.

Read more information about our submissions policy.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long-term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. The commission regulates certain Victorian energy businesses (including electricity generators, transmission companies, distributors and retailers) through a combination of legislation, licences, and codes and guidelines. View more on how we regulate.

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Refer to the Collection Notice on this page.

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

Collection Notice

As part of making a submission, we need you to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, and postcode. We will use this information to send you updates about this review.

It is our policy to publish all submissions to reviews on the Essential Services Commission website. You can request anonymity by selecting the relevant tickbox.

When we publish a submission, we also include some details about the submitter (your name, not your address). We treat all submissions as public information unless the submitter has asked us to.

We may also collect personal information when you email us with a query. Aside from any exceptions in relevant privacy legislation, we will not use or disclose the information you provide for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query.

You have the right to access personal information we hold about you. We may ask you to pay a small fee for this. You can also request that we correct your personal information in our records at no charge.

Read more information about our submissions policy.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long-term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. The commission regulates certain Victorian energy businesses (including electricity generators, transmission companies, distributors and retailers) through a combination of legislation, licences, and codes and guidelines. View more on how we regulate.