AER v EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd (2015) FCA 274

Category: 
Court decision
Release date: 
27 March 2015
Related provisions: 

Section 38 of the National Energy Retail Law

Outcome: 

The Federal Court judgment is available from the Australasian Legal Information Institute database.

The Court ordered by consent that EnergyAustralia pay a civil penalty of $500 000, maintain a compliance program for a period of two years and contribute to the AER's costs.

Overview

On 27 March 2015, in the first court action taken by the Australian Energy Regulator under the National Energy Retail Law, the Federal Court found that EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd had breached the Retail Law by failing to obtain explicit informed consent of customers in South Australia and the ACT before entering them into contracts or transferring them from another retailer.

Background

On 21 November 2014 the AER instituted proceedings in the Federal Court alleging that, Bright Choice, sales agents contracted by EnergyAustralia to carry out its telemarketing services, signed up a number of customers residing in South Australia and the ACT to EnergyAustralia plans over the telephone without the customer’s knowledge or consent.