Consumer Action has made a submission to the Standing Council on Energy and Resources in relation to its Review of National Enforcement Regimes for National Energy Laws. Consumer Action believes regulatory scheme with well-designed rules will be ineffective in addressing industry or market-wide problems if there are limitations in its enforcement regime. Effective enforcement by regulators, and third parties, is thus an essential part of an effective regulatory and consumer protection framework. In participating in the development of the National Energy Customer Framework, Consumer Action consistently highlighted the enforcement regime was lacking for consumers and thus we welcome this review.
This submission argues that the enforcement regime for national energy laws needs to be reformed to ensure it aligns with other consumer protection enforcement regimes. In particular, we submit that regulators should be empowered to seek compensation on behalf of consumers and that the amount of civil penalties should be increased substantially. We also submit that the regime should allow for enforcement not only by regulators, but also private third parties including consumers.
To read our submission click: Review of Enforcement Regime for National Energy Laws.