Essential Energy has written to around 1,100 customers who have been identified as having energy consumption levels greater than 160MWh in the past twelve months and who are currently incorrectly on either a basic block, or time of use, tariff to advise them that they must be moved to a demand tariff from 1 July 2017.
The change is required to comply with a new Australian Energy Market Commission rule, and to ensure that all Essential Energy customers with similar consumption profiles and demands on the network pay similar prices.
Application of a demand tariff is likely to result in significant billing increases for the majority of these customers if their future energy consumption patterns remain the same. Billing increases may be further exacerbated by pricing changes that are likely to result from a direction by the Australian Competition Tribunal to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to remake its determination of Essential Energy’s pricing during the 2014-19 regulatory period.
Additionally, Essential Energy has written to 1000 customers who consume greater than 100MWh but less than 160MWh per annum and are currently incorrectly on a block tariff to advise them that they will be moved to a time of use tariff.
Essential Energy appreciates that any increase in electricity charges will be unwelcome. We aim to assist customers in managing tariff impacts by:
- providing extensive prior notice of the changes
- seeking customer feedback and suggestions about our tariff structures
- working with the AER, the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON), Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) and other relevant consumer groups to assess options for managing impacts on customers, and
- exploring other potential hardship support measures.
We will offer opportunities in the coming weeks for consultation with affected customers to discuss the tariff change and meter requirements in detail.