EnergyAustralia, one of Australia’s leading energy retailers, today reiterated its approach to account administration does not involve charging vulnerable customers to receive paper bills via the post.
In June EnergyAustralia announced it would seek to recover the cost ($1.69 per bill) of printing, posting and delivering paper bills and would pass on third-party merchant fees, such as those incurred in over-the-counter payments or through credit cards.
The changes, effective from 1 November, do not apply to vulnerable customers, including:
Customers on standing offer tariffs
Concession card holders
Customers in financial hardship, and
Customers receiving their final bill.
Chief Customer Officer Kim Clarke said EnergyAustralia understood community concerns about the impact of passing on additional administration costs.
“Introducing fees for paper bills was a really difficult decision and one we did not take lightly,” she said. “That’s why we decided these changes should not, and will not, apply to vulnerable customers, including pensioners, people holding concession cards and customers struggling financially.”
Ms Clarke said printing and distribution chain expenses are rising and EnergyAustralia could not continue to absorb those costs without it impacting electricity prices.
To date, around 20% of EnergyAustralia’s 2.5 million customer accounts are managed online or have direct debt arrangements in place.