Our annual reports provide an overview of the work we have completed and outline our performance against key goals for each financial year.
Essential Services Commission Annual Report 2022–23
Our 2022–23 annual report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on Wednesday 1 November 2023. The report demonstrates our commitment to promoting the long-term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services.
Bringing the voice of consumers to the centre of our work
We progressed our Getting to fair strategy which has 33 actions to support vulnerable consumers through facilitating more responsive, inclusive and accessible essential services. We have implemented 21 actions.
Strong compliance and enforcement action
We undertook three energy sector compliance programs: bill change alert, best offer and disconnection compliance.
We accepted court enforceable undertakings from five energy businesses in relation to alleged non-compliance with the Victorian Payment Difficulty Framework, disconnection and explicit informed consent consumer protections. We also accepted an enforceable undertaking from a water business over allegations it failed to uphold critical protections in place to support customers affected by family violence.
We issued 74 penalty notices to energy businesses totalling $1.655 million for alleged breaches of the energy rules. This included: failing to register life-support customers appropriately, not giving planned interruption notifications to customers relying on life support, and failing to provide assistance to customers experiencing payment difficulties.
We undertook enforcement action against accredited persons under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program. This included revoking the accreditation of one accredited person and suspending the accreditation of another for failing to comply with program rules. We also used our powers to impose conditions and restrictions on accreditation to respond to non-compliant installations under the VEU program, this included requiring rectification of those installations.
See our register of enforcement action for further details.
Water price review
We completed a review of the pricing proposals from 14 Victorian water businesses in 2022–23. Following consultation, we issued a determination which sets the maximum prices that water businesses may charge customers for the next five years.
Typical household water and sewerage bills (for owner-occupier households) will rise on average by around:
- $22 (or 2 per cent) in metropolitan Melbourne
- $74 (or 6.6 per cent) in regional Victoria.
Victorian Default Offer
The 2023–24 Victorian Default Offer increased by about 25 per cent – mainly due to significant increases in wholesale electricity costs in 2022–23 impacting energy retailer futures contracts.
Land Access Code of Practice
We are developing a new Land Access Code of Practice to regulate how electricity transmission companies can access land under section 93 of the Electricity Industry Act 2000. We published a consultation paper in January 2023 and a draft code of practice for consultation in June 2023.
Growing participation in the Victorian Energy Upgrades program
We registered more than 6.7 million Victorian energy efficiency certificates in 2022–23 as part of the Victorian Energy Upgrades program, with more than 544,000 households and businesses benefiting from the upgrades. We commenced planning and implementation for major program reforms, including an enforceable code of conduct, new accreditation processes and standards, new program fees and strengthened functions and powers for the commission.
Facilitating Victorian energy market entry and exit
We issued six energy licences:
- four electricity generation licences
- one electricity retail licence
- one gas retail licence.
Rate capping report
We released our 2022–23 report (covering 2016–22) which examines the impact of rate capping in Victoria, providing information about councils’ services, infrastructure and financial outcomes since the introduction of rate capping. In 2022–23, all 79 councils complied with the rate cap set for them and there were no applications for a higher cap. All councils were subject to an average rate cap of 1.75 per cent.
Almost 1,800 representatives from regulated businesses, consumer groups and community sector organisations participated in 34 online, public and stakeholder events.
Contact us for more information.