AER v EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd [2020] FCA 1647

Court decision
Release date: 
6 November 2020
Related provisions: 

Sections 43(2)(c), 46, 47, 50 of the National Energy Retail Law

Rules 72, 107(2), 111(2) and 116(1)(d) of the National Energy Retail Rules


The Federal Court judgment is available from the Federal Court of Australia website.


On 5 November 2020, the Federal Court ordered that EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd (EnergyAustralia) had breached the National Energy Retail Law (Retail Law) and the National Energy Retail Rules (Retail Rules) in relation to eight customers experiencing payment difficulties.

The Federal Court found that between 2016 and 2018 EnergyAustralia: 

  • failed to maintain and implement its hardship policy
  • failed to provide customers the opportunity to enter into appropriate payment plans
  • failed to offer and apply payment plans that had regard to the customer’s capacity to pay
  • failed to inform customers of EnergyAustralia’s hardship policy, and/or
  • wrongfully de-energised the customers.

The Court ordered by consent that EnergyAustralia pay a civil penalty of $1.5 million, maintain a compliance program for a period of three years and contribute to the AER's legal costs.