Victoria looks to review electricity rules for apartments, retirement villages
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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