South Australia’s Taplin property group (Taplin) has been penalised $60,000 for allegedly unlawfully selling energy at three Adelaide shopping centres.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) alleges Taplin sold electricity to customers without having met its obligations under the National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law).
Selling energy usually requires authorisation, but a business such as Taplin that sells energy as part of its broader activities may be eligible for an exemption if it provides its customers with protections similar to those provided by authorised energy retailers.
AER Chair Paula Conboy said the AER works to ensure that all energy customers receive the protections to which they are entitled, regardless of whether they buy from an authorised retailer or an exempt seller.
“Exemptions provide customers with important protections. This includes requiring sellers to assist customers experiencing payment difficulties and to follow set processes before disconnecting a customer. These protections are fundamental and it is not acceptable that some customers may not be receiving them. The AER will continue to take action where businesses are not meeting these important obligations,” said Ms Conboy.
The AER can issue an infringement notice where it has reason to believe a business has contravened a civil penalty provision of the Retail Law. The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of contravention of the Retail Law.