Customers on life support equipment will soon find it easier and cheaper to shop around for better energy deals thanks to a rule change request submitted by the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW.
The changes to the National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) will allow life support customers to re-use certain medical documents that are needed when switching energy suppliers.
Previously, every time life support customers moved home or changed retailer, they had to visit a doctor to ask for a new medical certificate. Through our case work and outreach activities, we identified that many customers were reluctant to change providers and so weren't able to shop around for the best deals.
In June 2020 we submitted a rule change request to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to remove these barriers. Following a successful consultation process, the AEMC announced the change yesterday, which takes effect from 1 August 2021.
Janine Young, Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW said the rule change request is a direct result of EWON’s Outreach program engaging with a disabilities support group in Blacktown and listening to how hard it was for them to switch retailers.
“This is the first rule change request from an energy Ombudsman scheme and a perfect example of how our direct engagement with customers can result in substantial policy change. I’m extremely pleased that EWON has helped initiate a simpler and less stressful process for customers in these circumstances.”