Over the past three months, we’ve been developing our budget and business plan for FY23 and I’m pleased to advise members that the EWON Board approved the budget at its April meeting. Over the next month, we’ll be writing to members in relation to individual member fees including information about our FY23 business plan. 

Thank you to all members who have participated in the review of the current funding model either through meetings with KMPG or via the funding model survey. Your input is vital and will inform the project outcomes. KPMG are currently developing funding model options, taking into account member advice, and these will be considered by the Board in June 2022. We will keep you informed of progress. 

We recently held our first Consultative Council Meeting for 2022 which focused on the recent floods in northern NSW. Attendees heard from a series of guest speakers, including Ciara Sterling from Thriving Communities Partnership, who spoke about her organisation's people-focused response to the floods. Endeavour Energy's Danielle Manley and Belinda Kallmier from Essential Energy shared how their networks responded to the emergency including by increasing communication and safety measures, and by being on the ground to provide reassuring support while their field staff tackled major repair work. Read our wrap up of this informative meeting. 

We recently led a project involving the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV), Queensland (EWOQ), and South Australia (EWOSA) to develop a brochure outlining member responsibilities for raising customer awareness of our role - a great way for members to build trust in complaints processes and the sector overall. 

In this issue of EWON Insights we focus on Energy Accounts Payments Assistance (EAPA), which is about to be reviewed by the NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change. We also look at complaints resulting from a recent AEMC rule change allowing customers to switch retailers within two days, as opposed to the previous three-month time frame. While this is a welcome change, our case studies highlight a number of issues that need to be addressed in order to prevent ongoing complaints.

Finally, only 3% of complaints to EWON are about water.  Not surprisingly, those complaints that come our way are often complex, as reflected in this issue’s water case studies. They are well worth reading! 

As we move towards winter, please take care.

Janine Young
Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW

Photo of Janine Young, Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW