CEO and Managing Director Andy Vesey today announced AGL will make a range of changes to its energy offers to benefit low-income and vulnerable households, via the introduction of its A Fairer Way package over the next two months.
In spite of extremely competitive discounting within Australia's deregulated energy market, particularly within the Victoria market, it has been identified that "not all customers have engaged with the market to access these competitive and heavy discounts", according to Mr Vesey. "So we want to make sure that in this essential service market we have tailored products available for our most vulnerable consumers who are struggling to make ends meet."
To ensure that discounts are accessible to those consumers who need and would benefit most from them, AGL will be rolling out its A Fairer Way package. The package aims to deliver fairer outcomes for all consumers as well as incentivise broader public engagement with the competitive retail energy market.
Under A Fairer Way:
- Concession card holders and hardship program customers are not charged late fees.
- Customers participating in AGL’s hardship program, Staying Connected, will be offered guaranteed (non-conditional) discounts.
- We will write to customers with a registered concession card who remain on ‘old’ standing offers, offering to assess their needs and move them to a better plan.
- Victorian customers on a Standard Retail Contract who receive a government energy concession will also automatically receive a 15% discount off their electricity usage charges, applying from 5 March 2017.
This package delivers a fairer deal for households who rely on affordable and secure energy supplies as they deal with the full spectrum of cost of living pressures.
AGL encourages customers to shop around for the best deal for them and supports greater focus on government comparator websites to ensure ease of use, relevant and accurate information and customer awareness of this resource.
To raise awareness amongst vulnerable consumers, AGL has been investing in community outreach and education for customers in regions of disadvantage. In 2016, AGL invested $500,000 in the Queensland Government ‘Switched On Communities’ project, run by Queensland Council of Social Service, to provide grants to local community organisations to raise awareness about the deregulated energy market, how to compare offers and where to go for assistance.
“We believe this sort of collaborative engagement and awareness raising activity is a shared responsibility across industry, government and the community sector to ensure our most vulnerable customers are supported to engage and navigate the energy market.
“The steps AGL is taking today will deliver material improvements for our customers. We will continue to work with governments and the community sector during this significant time of market transformation to ensure we have a vibrant market that innovates for all Australians,” said Mr Vesey.
For the full media release, click here.