Regulator commences second court proceeding against energy retailer Origin
02 February 2024
The Essential Services Commission has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against energy retailers Origin Energy Electricity Limited and Origin Energy (Vic) Pty Limited (together, Origin).
The commission alleges Origin repeatedly failed to meet its obligations under the energy rules1, with the alleged breaches cumulatively affecting more than 500,000 customers between 2018 and 2023. The alleged contraventions relate to billing and disconnections, and include:
disconnecting customers who were receiving payment assistance without providing clear and unambiguous information about their entitlements to payment assistance
telling customers they needed to pay bills in fewer than 14 days
failing to notify customers they had been overcharged within required timeframes
attempting to recover undercharged amounts from customers for periods greater than the 4 months permitted for back-billing
failing to provide customers with best offer information, as required under the Energy Retail Code of Practice
giving customers incorrect best offer information
not providing information to customers about changes to their energy contracts by their preferred contact method.
The commission is seeking civil penalties and other remedies, including adverse publicity orders.