Simpler energy bills on the way with new AER guidelines
Simpler energy bills are on the way to homes with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) asking for consumer input which will be included in its new Better Bills Guideline.
The guideline is being developed to make energy bills easier to understand so that households and small businesses can more easily manage their energy usage and costs.
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) ruled in March 2021 that the AER must develop a mandatory billing guideline for retailers to follow. The AER ‘Bill Contents and Billing Requirements Guideline (Better Bills Guideline)’ will outline how retailers should prepare and issue bills to consumers, with a focus on improving consumer and market outcomes.
The Better Bills Guideline will provide guidance to retailers on preparing and issuing bills with the aim to make it easier for customers to:
- Pay their energy bills
- Ensure their bill conforms to their contract
- Query the bill
- Understand their household’s energy usage
- Compare offers across the energy market.
The AER is seeking feedback from consumers, industry groups, retailers and any other interested parties surrounding the simplifying and improvement of energy bills, with submissions open from now until 22 September 2021.
With an eye on present and future needs, the AER states the guidelines will ensure bills meet the needs of consumers by minimising cost and enabling industry innovation.
The guideline will be published April 2022, with changes to appeal on consumer bills from August 2022. AER will monitor how retailers are issuing bills to ensure compliance.
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