The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today published the amended Better Bills Guideline.
Following consultation, the amended guideline clarifies the better offer and self-read information requirements. It also aligns the commencement provisions to the Australian Energy Market Commission's determination to change the date retailers must comply with the guideline’s new billing provisions.
We are grateful for the ongoing engagement of our stakeholders through the amendment consultation process and have made additional minor changes to the guideline in response to stakeholder feedback, including:
- providing an exemption from the plan summary requirement for multisite collective billing customers
- requiring Meter Installation Registration Numbers (MIRNs) and Delivery Point Identifiers (DPIs) to be presented in the same way as National Metering Identifiers (NMIs) at the front of bills, for clarity and consistency
- requiring invoice numbers at the front of bills if applicable, to assist customers with managing personal or small business accounting
- requiring a ‘final bill’ message at the front of a customer’s final bill, to promote clarity and transparency
- providing an exemption from including a better offer message on a customer’s final bill
- requiring a statement in the better offer message as to whether the saving amount is GST inclusive or exclusive.
The AER has also published copies of two decision letters to energy retailers following applications to include additional messages, not required by the Better Bills Guideline, among Tier 1 information (or on the front page) on their revised customer bills.
The decisions emphasise the importance the AER places on ensuring customer bills are simple, uncluttered and easy to understand, and may provide additional guidance to other retailers as they work towards implementing the guideline.