|Customer Protection Reviews (Archive)
Information in relation to the Aurora Pay As You Go 2009 Review is available on the Special Reports webpage of this website.
Aurora Pay As You Go 2004-05
The Regulator released the Final Report into the operation of Aurora Pay As You Go (APAYG) service. Attached to the Final Report were the Regulator's proposals for a Prepayment Meter Code.
The Regulator subsequently submitted a proposal, attaching the Final Report and the draft Prepayment Meter Code proposal, to the Code Change Panel for its consideration in accordance with the code change process set out in the TEC. The Prepayment Meter Code was included in the Tasmanian Electricity Code in May 2007.
The Regulator released an Issues Paper in July 2004 highlighting the issues that were being considered during the review. A submission was received from Aurora to assist with the review.
The Regulator also sought public submissions on issues raised in the Paper.
Submissions were received from:
Introduction of Discounts and Late Payment Fees
In 2005 the Regulator approved Aurora's proposals for:
1. the provision of discounts for the payment of accounts by direct debit or payroll deduction; and
2. the imposition of fees for the late payment of accounts.
Direct Debit Discounts
The Regulator concluded that approval was warranted as the Regulations contemplate a discount and the discount proposed was materially cost reflective. No customer will have to pay more than he/she would otherwise and the community will benefit from the payment and receipting functions being carried out at lower cost.
The basis of approval is as follows:
- A discount or rebate, based on a rate of 5 cents per day plus GST will be provided to customers where a direct debit receipt is recorded in the transaction.
- The discount will not apply to: direct debits by credit card, where payment plans are present, if direct debits have been dishonoured during the statement period or where the customer received a reminder notice for the last statement.
- Extension of the incentive scheme to payroll deductions. However, each payroll deduction scheme will be subject to a cost benefit analysis, with Aurora being able to negotiate the payroll deduction related incentive with each employer.
Late Payment Fees
The Regulator has approved a late payment fee of $5.00 subject to the following conditions:
- The late payment fee will not be applied until the fifth day past the due date, to ensure that customers are afforded the opportunity to avoid the fee.
- All Health Care Card holders and customers entitled to claim pensioner concessions on their electricity accounts will be exempt from late payment fees.
- Aurora will not charge the fee: to customers on payment plans, on suspended accounts, deceased estates, final accounts, accounts with a balance less than $50.00, levelised EasyPay billing system accounts.
- The fee will not be applied where the customer contacts Aurora prior to day 5 after the due date and agree on a deferred payment arrangement.
- For the first 12 months, any customer incurring a late payment fee will have it waived for the first occurrence and the customer will be notified of the waiver.
The Statement of Reasons in relation to Aurora's proposals for the introduction of direct debit discounts and late payment fees sets out the relevant background, considerations in respect of each proposal and the Regulator's conclusions in respect of each matter. Aurora were advised of the decisions and conditions by letter on 16 February 2005.
Aurora's request consisted of:
Covering letter; and
The Regulator's Draft Proposals provided background, canvassed the role of the Regulator and relevant considerations, and set out the Regulator's initial views.
Submissions were received from:
A further submission was received which the Regulator has determined should be treated as confidential.