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New rules will protect consumers from large energy bill penalties

Energy retailers will have to scale back the large financial penalties they currently charge consumers who pay late bills under new rules announced today by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC).

The rules, which regulate the practice of ‘conditional discounting’, are designed to protect consumers with pay-on-time’ conditions in their energy contracts. This has been a common feature of energy market offers available to customers.

Currently, these conditions can lead to excessive charges and financial hardship for those who can least afford to pay.

'We think this rule balances protecting consumers from excessive fees with retailers’ need to recover reasonable costs when people don’t pay on time,' said AEMC Acting Chief Executive Suzanne Falvi.

See AEMC for more information.

image source: AEMC