Exempt entities (retail exemption holders and network exemption holders) must comply with the conditions of their exemption. Exemptions relating to the sale or supply of energy to small customers have conditions relating to dispute resolution. Dispute resolution can be internal (the processes followed by the entity when receiving a customer complaint) or external (an independent body such as an ombudsman). Customers are expected to seek a resolution to their dispute through internal processes before escalating the matter to an external dispute resolution service. Usually, for an exempt entity's customers to access the external dispute resolution services energy ombudsman schemes, the exempt entity must first become a member of that scheme.
All small energy customers should have recourse to internal and external dispute resolution processes regardless of who their energy service providers may be.
- Retail and network exemption holders with small energy customers must have internal dispute resolution processes that are in line with the current published Australian Standards.
- Retail and network exemption holders with residential customers must also join the energy ombudsman in their state or territory if membership is available.
At the time of writing (March 2019), energy ombudsman in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales allow retail and network exemption holders to join their schemes where exemption holders sell or supply energy to residential customers. Contact the individual ombudsman schemes for more information: