The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has released proposed protections for energy customers affected by family violence. Good Shepherd welcomes many of these protections, including requiring energy retailers to have family violence policies and sensitive debt management procedures.
We especially support the AEMC’s position that victim-survivors not be required to provide evidence of family violence to qualify for protections and support or avoid disconnection. It can be dangerous or impossible for victim-survivors to produce this evidence, particularly marginalised women who struggle to access family violence services and report to police.
In this submission we make recommendations that would further improve the proposed protections and lead to better outcomes for victim-survivors, including:
- Independent, mandatory reviews of energy retailers’ family violence policies
- A requirement for whole-of-business training in family violence, and reporting on progress indicators to show staff are building their understanding of family violence
- A prohibition on debt recovery from victim-survivors in financial hardship, and a requirement to consider various debt management options, informed by an Australian Energy Regulator guideline
View the joint submission to AEMC Draft Determination Protecting Customers Affected by Family Violence
May 22 2023