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This page summarises the key sections of the Code
The Victorian LPG Retail Code (the Code) protects the interests of all domestic customers. It prescribes minimum standard service levels that LPG retailers must meet when selling LPG.
The Code was developed in 2005 through consultation between consumer and industry representatives, government including the former Department of Human Services, Department of Justice and Regulation, and the Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWOV Victoria). The Australian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association endorses the Code.
Access the complete Victorian LPG Retail Code.
What does the Code do?
The Code sets out and makes clear:
- the main terms and conditions of supply to customers
- that retailers and agents follow the right procedures
- the details on the process of resolving disputes
- activities involved in transactions where bottled LPG is delivered to a domestic customer's site
- that it does not govern transactions and sales of bottled LPG to business customers, resales or point-of-sale deliveries.
How does the Code work?
The Code is voluntary but enforceable.
If non-compliance issues are identified, the retailer must stop promoting itself as complying with this Code until the retailer has remedied the non-compliance.
- Four LPG retailers – Elgas, Origin Energy, Powergas and Supergas – have voluntarily signed up to the Code and the dispute resolution scheme.
- By volunteering to comply, a retailer agrees to abide by the Code terms and conditions of service and agrees to be bound by EWOV’s dispute resolution scheme.
- If consumers feel their retailer has not complied with the Code, they can contact EWOV for help or register a complaint against their retailer.
- Retailers must ensure their representative agents observe the minimum standards in their dealings with customers
What is in the code?
The Code prescribes a minimum service standard for a range of areas such as:
- information provision
- payment and other matters.
The following sections outline some of the key protection measures created by the Code.
The Code is maintained and updated over time by the Governance Body which (provided for in the code) consists of:
- two retailer nominees of the Australian LPG Association
- two consumer advocate nominees appointed by the Minister for Energy.
The Code governance representatives meet a minimum of 3 times a year and are appointed for a period of 2 years.
There is a need for both retailers and customers to exchange correct information relating to the supply of LPG to the customer's property.
- A retailer must provide a customer with the basic terms and conditions of sale.
- A retailer must also provide information, including delivery, details on cylinder storage, safety conditions and maintenance.
- Customers may need to provide information about their identity, contact details and the property ownership status where the LPG is used.
- The Code also states it is the customer's responsibility to inform the retailer when their house is to be vacated.
Billing and payments
The Code outlines actions to be taken by retailers and customers relating to billing and payments.
The Code provides minimum obligations relating to details on payment methods, dates for payments, and refundable advances. The Code also requires that retailers must issue receipts to their customers with specific information as detailed in the Code. This includes the following:
- customers details
- delivery details
- contact details for both dispute resolution and government concessions.
The Code includes details on instalment plans and the potential consequences for customers who fail to pay their accounts. In the event a customer fails to pay their accounts, retailers must attempt to contact the customer.
Customer rights and complaints
In responding to a customer complaint, a retailer must advise the customer:
- of their rights including the complaints process
- how they can escalate the complaint to a higher level of management within the retailers’ business
- that they can refer the issue to EWOV if the matter cannot be resolved between the customer and the retailer.
On request, a customer must be given a copy of the Code. A retailer must handle a complaint by a customer in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard on Complaints Handling. The code provides details on the complaint handling procedures.
Other significant aspects of the code
If the contract states the retailer must deliver LPG to the customer's site, this must be done so as soon as is practicable. The customer must be given a delivery docket at the time the LPG is delivered.
In cases of emergencies, cylinder installation/repair or for health and safety reasons, a retailer may stop the supply of LPG to a customer's site. If a retailer does stop supply, they must provide the customer with information about the reasons for the stoppage.
A customer can end a contract at any time but must give the retailer at least 7 days' notice before ending the contract. In the event of contract termination, the customer must make the cylinder available for the retailer to collect on the specified collection date.
Energy and Water Ombudsman
Visit the Energy and Water Ombudsman for information about what to do if you have not been able to resolve a dispute with your retailer.
You can also find a factsheet explaining the role of the Energy and Water Ombudsman in handling cases about LPG.
Call their free call number on 1800 500 509.
Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
Residential customers with eligible concession cards can apply for the Non-Mains Water Energy Concession - LP Gas Rebate.
Customers who are unable to pay their LPG bills due to a temporary financial crisis can also apply for the Non-Mains Utility Relief Grant (NURGS).
Visit the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing for information about the range of non-mains energy concessions available to LPG users.
Page last updated: 08/11/22