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EWONews Issue 46

A message from the Ombudsman

Janine YoungThe recent floods across New South Wales have been devastating and everyone at EWON extends our special thoughts to all those impacted. A range of assistance is available - we will also ensure that our outreach and engagement extends to communities who may need our advice and assistance.

EWON’s year has started positively with a National Energy Rule change resulting from the collaborative work of our policy and outreach teams; a stimulating Board Strategic Planning Day in February which is now informing development of our FY22 budget and business plan, the commencement of our new General Manager Dispute Resolution, and positive feedback from staff about our plans to move permanently to hybrid working arrangements, a reflection of how effectively we have been working since March 2020. 

I’m especially proud that EWON’s work has initiated a national rule change that will help customers who are reliant on life support equipment switch retailers or move house and maintain continuity of retailer and network support. As a result of the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) rule change, customers can now re-use medical documents that are required to switch energy providers or move house into a different network area. 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.

A special welcome to Rosa Krilic, the newest member of the EWON Management Team. Rosa joined us on 8 February 2021 – our Board Strategic Planning Day – and since then has hit the ground running with respect to gaining knowledge about EWON and how we operate.

We have also recently completed our first face-to-face outreach trip to North Western NSW since COVID-19 prevented us travelling in April 2020. Keeping EWON staff, partner organisations, and communities safe at external events is our top priority and our COVID-safe plan ensures we manage potential risks. You can read more about our upcoming outreach events in this newsletter.

In the October to December 2020 quarter we received 4,092 complaints from energy and water customers, a slight drop from the 4,372 we received the previous quarter. This decrease can be attributed to an annual seasonal trend, as well as the ongoing impact of the Australian Energy Regulator’s Statement of Expectations requirements. 

We look forward to another positive and productive year working with you all.

Janine Young
Ombudsman
Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW 

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