Overview

The Energy Retail Code, which details the obligations required of energy retail businesses, is being remade as a code of practice. This is to align with the new enforcement framework that the Victorian Government is proposing to introduce.

The Essential Services Commission is now inviting your feedback on how to turn the current Energy Retail Code into a code of practice. We published a consultation paper and draft code of practice on 13 September 2021 and invited submissions until 25 October 2021.

Submissions to this review are now closed.

Key facts

The Victorian Government announced its Energy Fairness Plan in November 2018. This is aimed at reducing energy costs for families and increasing transparency and competition in the energy market. As part of the Energy Fairness Plan, the government also committed to strengthen our enforcement powers. This included giving us clearer investigatory powers, and overhauling fines and penalties that could be faced by energy companies.

The Bill that would give effect to the government’s reforms if passed is the Essential Services Commission (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Amendment Bill 2021. This is currently in Parliament. As part of these reforms, it is proposed that the commission’s existing energy codes will be remade as ‘codes of practice’ under the Essential Services Commission Act 2001.

We are publishing our consultation paper and draft code of practice now, before the Compliance and Enforcement Bill has passed Parliament, so stakeholders have clarity on what the new code of practice is expected to look like, and how the new enforcement framework will be put into operation.

We are not materially altering the obligations that licensees and exempt persons are currently required to follow. Once the new Energy Retail Code of Practice is in effect, it will enable the proposed new enforcement framework to be used for any contraventions of the code of practice.

How to participate

Stakeholders were able to provide feedback on this page by using our feedback form to:

  • provide general comments
  • complete a short survey, or
  • upload submission documents.

This feedback will help us understand what is important to you in relation to this decision. As part of our engagement we also met with the sector to work through any implementation issues.

Next steps

We will consider your feedback as we finalise the Energy Retail Code of Practice.

Read our consultation paper and proposed code of practice

Collection notice

As part of making a submission, we need you to provide personal information, such as your name, email address, town of residence and postcode. We may use this information to send you updates about this review. We may also collect personal information when you contact 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 by contacting communication@esc.vic.gov.au.

We will publish your submission

Unless you tell us otherwise we will publish your submission the on the Essential Services Commission website. This process may involve publishing your personal information (your name, not your address). We generally do not accept anonymous submissions. If you have concerns about your identity being made public, please consider making your submission confidential rather than submitting it anonymously.

Requesting confidentiality

If you believe your submission contains information that should be confidential or commercially sensitive you must let us know why in writing. If we agree the information is confidential or commercially sensitive you will need to provide us two copies – one complete and one redacted version (preserving page numbers etc by not simply deleting information). If you make your submission public (e.g. by giving it to the media) we will assume confidentiality no longer applies and publish the unredacted version.

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. We regulate Victoria’s energy, water and transport sectors, and administer the local government Fair Go Rates system.