Minor amendments to voluntary principles and minimum terms for domestic retail contracts
About this consultation
In May 2010, following consultation with stakeholders, the Electricity Commission (Commission) finalised and published a set of voluntary good practice contracting principles (principles) and minimum terms and conditions (minimum terms) for domestic retail contracts.
Subsequent to their publication, as a result of detailed interactions with retailers, the Commission identified areas where these principles and minimum terms had unintended consequences or raised legitimate issues affecting retailers' ability to comply. These matters, and the Commission's intention to address them, were signalled to retailers by the Commission in September 2010.
In July 2011 the Electricity Authority (Authority) is due to assess the extent to which electricity retailers' domestic contracts align with the principles and minimum terms. This is the first alignment review described in the package of monitoring and transition arrangements published by the Commission alongside the principles and minimum terms in May 2010.
The Authority has considered the matters identified by the Commission and concluded that, while the matters are relatively minor, it is important to address them in advance of the forthcoming review. It has therefore developed a proposed set of minor amendments to address the matters identified. The issues identified relate to the following:
- the requirement to provide 7 to 14 days notice of disconnection for non-payment if a consumer has recently defaulted on a payment arrangement;
- the requirement to specify when disconnection will occur in a disconnection notice;
- termination for persistent (but not material) breaches;
- reference to redress under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993;
- payment for electricity supplied where there is no formal contract and the point at which charges may commence;
- when and how price increases must be notified to consumers;
- flexibility for different pricing models; and
- minor drafting amendments.
The principles and minimum terms are a voluntary arrangement, and do not form part of the Code. Nevertheless, consistent with its Consultation Charter, the Authority has sought to apply its Code amendment principles to the proposed amendments to the extent practicable.
The Authority's preference is to receive submissions in electronic format (Microsoft Word). It is not necessary to send hard copies of submissions to the Authority, unless it is not possible to do so electronically.
If submitters do not wish to send their submission electronically, they should post one hard copy of their submission to the address below:
PO Box 10041
Level 7, ASB Bank Tower
2 Hunter Street
Tel: 0-4-460 8860
Fax: 0-4-460 8879
The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Thursday 19 May 2011. Please note that late submissions are unlikely to be considered.
The Authority will acknowledge receipt of all submissions electronically. Please contact the Submissions' Administrator if you do not receive electronic acknowledgement of your submission within two business days.
Your submission is likely to be made available to the general public on the Authority's website. Submitters should indicate any documents attached, in support of the submission, in a covering letter and clearly indicate any information that is provided to the Authority on a confidential basis. However, all information provided to the Authority is subject to the Official Information Act 1982.
Proposed amendments to retail contracts voluntary principles and minimum terms and conditions - consultation paper
consultation-paper.pdf | pdf | 295 KB | Last Changed: 26/04/2011 8:52am
Proposed amendments to retail contracts voluntary principles and minimum terms and conditions - appendix 3
appendix-3.pdf | pdf | 166 KB | Last Changed: 26/04/2011 8:52am