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Protecting people with payment difficulties. . .

Protecting people with payment difficulties
VCOSS feedback on ESC payment difficulty and disconnection guidelines

Document published on 10 November 2017

On 10 October 2017 the Essential Services Commission released a draft guidance note outlining its approach to promoting and enforcing compliance with Part 3 of the Energy Retail Code, and associated provisions relating to the protection of customers anticipating or facing payment difficulty.

VCOSS has analyzed this guidance note and concluded it, for the most part, contains an appropriate level of detail, and will;

  • Help community advocates advise people about their entitlements under a principles-and outcomes-based payment difficulty framework.
  • Better allow people to self-advocate and develop sustainable payment arrangements that prevent the accumulation of large, unmanageable debts, and
  • Assist advocates, the Energy and Water Ombudsman and the ESC to hold retailers to account under the payment difficulty framework.

In this submission, VCOSS provides feedback on elements which could be expanded or clarified.

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