The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today released its first annual assessment of its Customer Service Incentive Scheme (CSIS) for AusNet Services, CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy. This assessment is for the 2021–22 year.
The AER has approved a total of $8.36 million of financial rewards for these Victorian distribution network service providers (DNSPs) due to their efforts to improve their customer service throughout 2021-22.
Distributors will obtain these rewards as a result of implementation of new programs, IT solutions and internal practices to improve their customer communications and complaints management. The cost will be recovered by DNSPs through Victorian consumer energy bills. The AER expects to receive bill impact information as part of the Victorian DNSPs’ annual pricing proposals by the end of March 2023. Upon receipt, we publish these pricing proposals on our website.
As part of our assessment, we have also decided to suspend the complaints performance parameter for AusNet Services because the data used to measure this performance indicator was incorrectly collected by the distributor. This meant that we were unable to accurately measure AusNet Services’ performance. As a result of this suspension, AusNet is not eligible for a reward under the complaints parameter for the 2021-22 CSIS assessment.
The CSIS was introduced in July 2020 and is designed to encourage electricity distributors to improve their engagement with their customers. This is achieved by distributors undertaking consultation with their customers to identify services their customers want to improve, and then set targets and incentives to improve those services based on customers’ preferences. The distributors may be financially penalised or rewarded depending on how they perform against their customer service targets.