EnergyAustralia: life support obligations

Instituted civil proceedings
Release date: 
9 April 2020
Related provisions: 

Between 1 February 2018 and 31 January 2019 – Rules 124(1)(a), (b) and (e) and 124A(1) of the National Energy Retail Rules. 

From 1 February 2019 and continuing - Rules 124(1)(a), (b) and (c), 124(3)(a) and (b), 126(a) and (b) of the National Energy Retail Rules. 


The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court alleging that EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd (EnergyAustralia) failed to comply with life support requirements and breached an enforceable undertaking.

The AER alleges that from February 2018, in relation to a significant number of customers, EnergyAustralia failed to:

  • register customers requiring life support equipment, when advised by the customer or notified by the distributor
  • notify the distributor that the customer required life support equipment at those premises, when advised by the customer
  • provide information surrounding life support protections to customers within 5 days or at all
  • keep the registration details of its customers up to date.

The AER also alleges that from 1 February 2019, EnergyAustralia failed to establish policies, systems and procedures for registering a premises as requiring life support equipment to facilitate compliance with the life support obligations in the National Energy Retail Rules.

Additionally, EnergyAustralia gave the AER an enforceable undertaking in August 2019 that required it to, amongst other things:

  • register life support customers as soon as possible and, at the latest, within one business day of advice
  • review all calls from the previous day to identify any missed life support customers.

The AER alleges that EnergyAustralia failed to comply with these commitments since 23 August 2019 when the undertaking was accepted by the AER. 

The AER is seeking civil penalties, declarations, an order directing EnergyAustralia to comply with the terms of the Undertaking and costs.