EnergyAustralia: requirement for explicit informed consent for certain transactions

Instituted civil proceedings
Release date: 
21 November 2014
Related provisions: 

SECT 38 of the National Energy Retail Law



The AER has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd for allegedly contravening the National Energy Retail Law by failing to obtain the explicit informed consent of customers before transferring them to new energy plans.

EnergyAustralia contracted Bright Choice Australia Pty Ltd to provide its telemarketing services during 2012 and 2013. Bright Choice contacted prospective customers on EnergyAustralia’s behalf to sell electricity and gas plans.

The AER alleges that, in a number of instances, Bright Choice sales agents signed up some customers residing in South Australia and the ACT to EnergyAustralia plans over the telephone without the customer’s knowledge or consent. A number of these customers were subsequently transferred to EnergyAustralia from their existing retailer.