Consumer care guidelines
Developing new consumer care guidelines for retailers to better serve consumers.
The consumer care guidelines for retailers took effect on 1 July 2021. Retailers are expected to use our consumer care guidelines to provide a consistent and supportive standard of service to domestic consumers.
The Electricity Authority has conducted its first review of electricity retailers’ self-assessed alignment with the consumer care guidelines. The self-assessments demonstrate retailers’ alignment with the consumer care guidelines is variable and implementation has not been as consistent as expected.
We are currently reviewing the guidelines. As part of this review, we will consider the most appropriate options to give us confidence that all retailers take their responsibilities to their consumers very seriously, including their most vulnerable consumers.
We expect to release an options paper for public consultation in September 2023.
September 2023Consultation —
Options paper for public consultation
1 June 2023Report —
1st review of retailers’ self-assessed alignment with the guidelines
9 May 2023Letter from Chief Executive —
Findings from 2022/23 review of retailers’ self-assessments
August 2022Review —
Alignment review of retailers' self-assessments started
31 December 2021Compliance —
Deadline for retailers to comply with the consumer care guidelines
1 July 2021Implementation —
Consumer care guidelines took effect
30 March 2021Decision —
Consumer care guidelines to replace guidelines on arrangements for assisting vulnerable consumers and medically dependent consumers
23 February - 9 March 2021Consultation —Technical consultation: consumer care guidelinesView consultation
22 - 26 February 2021Event —
Technical consultation briefing webinar
29 October - 27 November 2020Consultation —Proposed consumer care guidelinesView consultation
22 October - 11 November 2020Event —
Workshops in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington
MDVC Initial session - case for change3 August 2020
MDVC Workshop 1 - consumer journeys3 August 2020
MDVC Workshop 1 - policy questions3 August 2020
MDVC Workshop 2 - summary of feedback3 August 2020
MDVC Workshop 3 - group outputs3 August 2020
29 June 2020Decision —
Amend the medically dependent and vulnerable consumer guidelines
Decision memo - MDVC guidelines2 June 2020
Addendum - MDVS guidelines2 June 2020
2 - 16 June 2020Consultation —Addendum to the guidelines for medically dependent and vulnerable consumersView consultation
In April 2020, following a recommendation from the Electricity Price Review and industry feedback, we reviewed our guidelines for retailers on arrangements to assist medically dependent and vulnerable consumers. There had been significant change in New Zealand’s electricity industry and the existing guidelines were no longer fit for purpose. Our review led to the replacement of the medically dependent consumer and vulnerable consumer guidelines with new consumer care guidelines.
The intent of the consumer care guidelines is to help retailers to:
- adopt behaviours and processes that foster positive relationships with domestic consumers
- help domestic consumers maximise their potential to access and afford a constant electricity supply suitable for their needs
- help domestic consumers minimise harm caused by insufficient access to electricity or by payment difficulties
- engage with medically dependent consumers - these customers must be identified and recorded as early as practicable and not disconnected for non-payment.
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Review of our consultation and feedback processes
Improving our consultation and engagement to better represent the interests of consumers.
Levy-funded appropriations 2022/23 and 2023/24
Consultation on our levy-funded appropriations for the upcoming financial year.
Changes to EIEP1 and EIEP5A
Changes to the Electricity Information Exchange Protocols 1 and 5A for improved functionality.