Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme Code variation (REPSC/02)
- Project Released: Oct 2021
- Project Closes: June 2022
- Contact: Amber Miller
The Commission is consulting on a review of the Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS) Code to facilitate improved outcomes under, and administration of REPS within, the Government’s policy framework. The REPS Code supports the effective administration of the REPS, which commenced on 1 January 2021.
Current status is Final
The Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme Code has been amended to improve consumer protections (primarily through the provision of better information to customers) and clarify retailers’ obligations (with respect to providing appropriate oversight of activity provider behaviour and record keeping requirements).
The amendments were largely supported by stakeholders. The one issue that was not supported was a proposal to require the obliged retailer to be identified at the time an energy productivity activity is undertaken, so that customers had a clear avenue to have their complaints and disputes resolved. Stakeholders were concerned that this requirement would fundamentally change the practical operation of REPS, with most activities delivered by third-party activity providers, and could lead to a lessening of competition in the market.
To address this issue in a different way, the Commission has developed an effective complaint referral process with Consumer and Business Services for matters covered by Australian Consumer Law (for example, misrepresentation, false and misleading claims, poor sales and quoting practices), and good outcomes have been negotiated for customers in many instances in the first year of operation of the REPS. The Commission will continue its market monitoring activities to assess how industry responds to customer complaints and whether a stronger regulatory intervention is required in the future.
The requirements for Compliance Plans have been clarified, including a new requirement for obliged retailers to resubmit their Compliance Plans where the Commission is not satisfied with the information provided. As an additional check on market behaviour, the Commission will continue to undertake audits on different areas of the REPS each year. These audits are in addition to any external audit the Commission requires an obliged retailer to undertake.
The new REPS Code will come into effect at the start of the new reporting year on 1 January 2023. This will provide market participants with six months to make any necessary changes to their contractual arrangements, policies and procedures.