Exempt entities - dispute resolution and ombudsman membership

Exempt entities (retail exemption holders and network exemption holders) must comply with the conditions of their exemption. These are specified in the retail and network exemption guidelines. Failure to comply with a retail condition is a civil penalty provision under the Retail Law (section 112).

Exemptions relating to the sale or supply of energy to small customers have conditions relating to dispute resolution. Entities should have internal dispute resolution processes (the processes followed by the entity when receiving a customer complaint) and 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 customers to access energy ombudsman schemes, the exempt entity must first become a member of that scheme.

Dispute resolution

Small energy customers have recourse to internal dispute resolution processes and to external dispute resolution processes in in most states and the ACT, regardless of who their energy service providers are.

  • 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.

Ombudsman schemes

Retail and network exemption holders that sell or supply energy to residential customers need to join energy ombudsman in South Australia and New South Wales. Network exemption holders that  supply energy to residential customers in Victoria also need to join the energy ombudsman. Contact the individual ombudsman schemes immediately to join: