Energy is an essential service and the energy system is rapidly transitioning to new technologies. Householders are finding it increasingly complex, confusing and risky to make decisions about their energy supply so industry initiatives like this Code are welcome.
The New Energy Consumer Code (The Code) must incorporate appropriate consumer protections. We strongly support the requirements that those that join the Code only offer finance arrangements through providers that are licensed under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCPA). However, the code must also go further and ban all unsolicited sales and require an ‘opt-in’ protection period following off premises sales for those that join the code.
Consumer Action’s previous work demonstrates how a lack of regulatory protections are leading to abysmal consumer outcomes in the new energy technology market, particularly in relation to the installation of solar panels. Such conduct risks eroding consumer trust in new energy technology and the businesses that provide this technology. Such risks impact the viability of new entrants as well as the viability of markets that would otherwise deliver great benefits for consumers and our environment.
See our joint letter to ACCC with CHOICE, COTA Victoria, Financial and Consumer Rights Council Inc, Financial Rights Legal Centre, Moreland Energy Foundation Limited, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Victorian Council Of Social Service and Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Victoria and Tasmania [PDF]