Rising Inequality in the Energy Market: Safeguarding Consumer Protection

September 2016

Energy customers in NSW have traditionally had access to consumer protections over and above that provided by general consumer law.  Policy makers at the highest level have recognised that the essential nature of electricity and gas make this extra consumer protection essential.  While fairness dictates that all customers should enjoy the same level of protection, there have always been a small number of customers – those who buy their energy through embedded networks rather than from authorised retailers – whose right to access consumer protection has been weaker than that of other customers.

The growth in the number of embedded networks in NSW means that the number of customers with this inequitable level of consumer protection is growing, both absolutely and as a percentage.

EWON believes that the conditions and concerns that led to the creation of consumer protection for energy customers are still very relevant today, and that the consumer protection that applies to customers of authorised retailers should be extended to customers of embedded networks.

View the report here