1 August 2011
RE - Discussion Paper: Extending the Jurisdiction of the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria).
I am writing on behalf of Active Utilities in response to your recent discussion paper concerning the possible membership of embedded network operators to the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) scheme.
Active Utilities is an embedded network service provider operating mainly with customers located up the east coast of Australia. Our electricity embedded network business comprises of consulting to Developers, Owners Corporations and Owner/ Occupiers of Buildings for the setup and ongoing management of embedded network services. As part of this service we often provide a billing agency service to these entities to ensure that their end customers receive a similar service offering to normal network/retailer conditions.
Due to the nature of our business, being that we represent external clients, we have designed their operation to mirror a similar standard to registered retailer and thus follow the Energy Retail Code. Since our business commenced in 2005 we have never experienced an escalation of a complaint to Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal and are unaware of any embedded network operator on selling electricity being brought before this tribunal.
If conditions are imposed forcing registration to EWOV or a similar scheme we believe that this will impact embedded network operators detrimentally and force the passing on of any added costs to the end user, creating uncompetitive pricing levels. Active Utilities strongly believes the current legal protections in place between embedded network operators and their customers are adequate.
We would be more than happy to work closely with the DPI to provide further evidence of the complaint free nature of these networks and discuss in more detail the impact that an imposed scheme many have on our clients and their end users.
Director of Operations