Victoria looks to review electricity rules for apartments, retirement villages
ABC News
06 August 2016

The Victorian Government is looking at ways to allow people living in high-rise apartments, retirement villages and caravan parks to choose their own electricity provider.

The State Government has launched a discussion paper to examine rules and conditions that apply to on-site power suppliers under Victoria's Electricity Industry Act.

Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said deals between property developers and power companies often resulted in complex billing arrangements for owners, tenants and body corporates.

"They are missing out on the best market offers available to other Victorians," she said.

"They ought to have the opportunities and same rights to be able to shop around and get the best energy price that they possibly can."

'Residents should be able to pick and choose'
Max Penaluna, 80, lives at a retirement village at Glenroy, in Melbourne's north.

He said people in his situation were unable to shop around for the best electricity deals and had no avenues for dispute resolution.

"It's an embedded system. With an embedded electrical system, the company buys the power and then distributes it on to the residents of the village," he said.

"Residents should be able to pick and choose as they feel ... and, if they need to, take their problems to an ombudsman."

Ronda Held, chair of the Consumer Utilities and Advocacy Centre, said there should be a level playing field for all consumers.

"In a competitive market in Victoria, we're supposed to have choice and the ability to get the lowest price for our energy," she said.

"People under these arrangements were prevented from doing that."

The discussion paper is open for comment until August 29.

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