Full Retail Contestability to be introduced in SA from 2003

01 Sep 2002Archived News Climate Change Matters

The South Australian Independent Industry Regulator (SAIIR) has recently announced that Full Retail Contestability (FRC) will go ahead as planned in SA on 1 January 2003.

 

This means that all electricity customers in SA will be eligible to be supplied with electricity by their retailer of choice, as is currently the case in NSW and Victoria. Currently only customers using more than 160 MWh pa are contestable in SA.

While it is unlikely that newly contestable customers will be required to negotiate a new contract as happened in SA with the 160 tranche customers, franchise tariffs are expected to increase by up to 30% next year.

Some level of consumer protection will cover small electricity customers, however the final details are not yet available. Issues under consideration by SAIIR include billing cycles, collection methods, repayment arrangements, treatment of customers experiencing payment difficulties, grounds for disconnection, information disclosure, privacy, the obligation on retailers to offer to sell electricity, complaint handling, security deposits, cooling off periods, etc, especially for regional customers.

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