The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has transferred customers from failed electricity retailer Urth Energy Pty Ltd to other businesses to ensure their electricity supply continues without interruption.
Urth Energy was suspended from the National Electricity Market (NEM) by the Australian Energy Market Operator following its entry into administration. The AER revoked Urth Energy's authorisation to trade in the NEM as of 12am Thursday 2 February 2017.
"Approximately 800 electricity customers in South Australia, Queensland and NSW are affected by Urth Energy's failure. The power supply to these customers will not be interrupted as a result of Urth Energy's failure," AER Acting Chair Cristina Cifuentes said.
"The AER has ensured customers of Urth Energy were transferred to new retailers. Depending on where the customers are located they were transferred to either AGL, Origin Energy, or EnergyAustralia."
The AER is responsible for overseeing the national Retailer of Last Resort (RoLR) scheme. The scheme is designed to ensure that in the event of retailer failure, arrangements are in place to ensure that customers continue to receive electricity and/or gas supply. If an energy retailer fails, the AER has the power to transfer customers to a new retailer.
The new retailers will be writing to affected customers shortly to explain the arrangement and to ensure that customers are aware of their options for ongoing supply.
There is no obligation for these customers to remain with the new retailer. Customers seeking information about other offers available to them can use the AER's price comparison website, Energy Made Easy, to look at the energy deals in their area.
"The Energy Made Easy website is designed to help customers understand and make informed choices about energy offers. It also provides helpful, clear information on navigating the energy market, including energy efficiency tips, help understanding bills and contracts, and dealing with salespeople," Ms Cifuentes said.
Urth Energy's customers can call the AER's RoLR hotline on 1300 055 390. Hardship customers and customers on life support equipment are encouraged to contact their new retailer urgently.
About the AER
The Australian Energy Regulator regulates energy markets and networks under national legislation and rules in eastern and southern Australia, as well as networks in the Northern Territory. Its functions include:
- monitoring wholesale electricity and gas markets to ensure energy businesses comply with the legislation and rules, and taking enforcement action where necessary;
- setting the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using networks (electricity poles and wires and gas pipelines) that transport energy;
- regulating retailer energy markets in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania (electricity only), and the ACT;
- operating the Energy Made Easy website, which provides a retail price comparator and other information for energy customers;
- publishing information on energy markets, including the annual State of the Energy Market report, to assist participants and the wider community.