Energy Retail Market: Additional Fees and Charges

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Energy!Retail!Market:!Additional!Fees!and!Charges! !

Disclaimer** The$ fee$ and$ bill$ calculations$ presented$ in$ this$ report$ should$ be$ used$ as$ a$ general$ guide$ only.$ The$ information$ presented$ in$ this$ report$ is$ not$ provided$ as$ financial$ advice.$ While$ we$ have$ taken$ great$ care$ to$ ensure$ accuracy$ of$ the$ information$ provided$ in$ this$ report,$ we$ do$ not$ accept$ any$ legal$ responsibility$ for$ errors$ or$ inaccuracies.$ The$ St$ Vincent$ de$ Paul$ Society$ and$ Alviss$ Consulting$ Pty$ Ltd$ do$ not$ accept$liability$for$any$action$taken$based$on$the$information$provided$in$this$report$ or$ for$ any$ loss,$ economic$ or$ otherwise,$ suffered$ as$ a$ result$ of$ reliance$ on$ the$ information$presented.$ $ * * * * * * ! ! ! ! ! Energy!Retail!Market:!Additional!Fees!and!Charges!! $ May$Mauseth$Johnston,$Alviss$Consulting$ Melbourne,*May*2014* * * * * ©*St*Vincent*de*Paul*Society*and*Alviss*Consulting*Pty*Ltd* This$work$is$copyright.$Apart$from$any$use$permitted$under$the$Copyright$Act$1968$ (Ctw),$no$parts$may$be$adapted,$reproduced,$copied,$stored,$distributed,$published$ or$ put$ to$ commercial$ use$ without$ prior$ written$ permission$ from$ the$ St$ Vincent$ de$ Paul$Society.$$$ * ! ! ! ! Contact:*Gavin*Dufty** Manager,$Social$Policy$Unit$Victoria$$ Phone:$(03)$98955816$or$0439$357$129* $ St$Vincent$de$Paul$Society$ Locked$Bag$4800,$Box$Hill,$VIC$3128$$ www.vinnies.org.au$

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Energy!Retail!Market:!Additional!Fees!and!Charges! !

Table*of*content* *

Acknowledgements$ * Executive*Summary* * 1.*About*this*project*

2* * 3* * 7* 7$ 9* 10* 10$ 10$ 11$ 13$ 14$ 14$ 15$ 15$ 15$ 20$ 20$ 20$ 21$ 23$ 23$ 23$ 26* 26$ 28$ 32$ 32$ 35* * 36*

1.1$Scope$and$methodology$

2.*Consumer*implications*of*additional*fees*and*charges* 3.*Retail*fees*and*charges* 3.1$Early$Termination$Fees$ 3.1.1$Regulatory$provisions$and$jurisdictional$differences$ 3.1.2$The$cost$of$early$termination$fees$to$consumers$ 3.2$Late$Payment$Fees$ 3.2.1$Regulatory$provisions$and$jurisdictional$differences$ 3.2.2$The$cost$of$late$payment$fees$to$consumers* 3.3$Dishonoured$Payment$Fees$ 3.3.1$Regulatory$provisions$and$jurisdictional$differences$ 3.3.2$The$cost$of$dishonoured$payment$fees$to$consumers* 3.4$Payment$Processing$Fees$ 3.4.1$Regulatory$provisions$and$jurisdictional$differences$ 3.4.2$The$cost$of$payment$processing$fees$to$consumers* $$$$$3.5$Other$charges* $$$$$3.6$Network$related$service$charges* $$$$$$$$$$$3.6.1$Regulatory$provisions$and$jurisdictional$differences$ $$$$$$$$$$$3.6.2$Ambiguous$retailer$statements*

4.*Regulatory*measures$ 4.1$Market$offers$vs.$standing$offers/standard$contracts$ $$$$$4.2$Disclosure$regulation$and$retailer$disclosure$ $$$$$4.3$Implications$for$market$comparability$and$competition$ 4.4$Better$regulation$

5.*Recommendations* * Bibliography* *

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Energy!Retail!Market:!Additional!Fees!and!Charges! !

Acknowledgements*$ The$Society$of$St$Vincent$de$Paul$Victoria$is$grateful$for$the$funding$provided$by$the$ National*Consumer*Advocacy*Panel$to$undertake$this$project.$$ $ The$views$expressed$in$this$document$do$not$necessarily$reflect$the$views$of$the$ Consumer$Advocacy$Panel$or$the$Australian$Energy$Market$Commission.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *