Indicative timetable



Early consultation, preliminary analysis and consumer research

October 2023 – April 2024

Consultation on key issues, including stakeholder workshops

14 May – 28 June 2024

Stakeholder forum to share feedback received during consultation

30 July 2024

Report exploring case for change and recommending next steps 

Late 2024 (date to be confirmed)

Issues Paper

On 14 May 2024, we released an issues paper for the review of payment difficulty protections in the National Energy Customer Framework. 

The paper sought feedback on key issues that have been identified through early consultation, preliminary analysis and consumer research, including:

  • the effectiveness of existing protections for consumers experiencing payment difficulty, including who is eligible for these protections, what retailers must do to identify, engage with and assist consumers experiencing payment difficulty, and protections to ensure that disconnection is a last resort 
  • whether there are opportunities to strengthen protections for consumers experiencing payment difficulty, including opportunities to improve customer engagement so that disconnection is truly a last resort
  • the benefits and limitations of other frameworks and approaches, including the Victorian payment difficulty framework and approaches in other sectors
  • the costs and benefits of potential changes to the framework, including the impacts of potential changes on retailer costs and the benefits and limitations of harmonising payment difficulty protections across the national energy market.

Issues Paper - Review of payment difficulty protections in the NECF

Our issues paper seeks feedback on whether change is needed to ensure that consumers experiencing payment difficulty are proactively identified, engaged early and supported appropriately with assistance that is tailored to their individual circumstances.
Content type

Stakeholder forum


Consultation on the issues paper opened on 14 May 2024 and closed on 28 June 2024. The AER received 24 formal submissions (including 6 late submissions) and 6 informal submissions. 

We are currently considering the feedback received in these submissions, as well as stakeholder workshops held during the consultation period. 

We will provide an update to interested stakeholders in a stakeholder forum on Tuesday, 30 July 2024.