EnergyAustralia, one of the country’s leading energy retailers, today said it would scrap fees for customers to receive paper bills and settle their accounts over-the-counter at Australia Post branches.
The change will apply to EnergyAustralia’s 1.7 million customers in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.
“We’ve had a lot of feedback from customers and the message is clear – people don’t like these fees,” said EnergyAustralia Chief Customer Officer Kim Clarke. “They were introduced to avoid passing on the cost of services many customers don’t use, but circumstances have changed.
“Over the past year retail energy prices have increased up to 20 per cent in some states and today, more than ever, every dollar matters for families. So, we’ve listened and are getting rid of charges for paper bills and over-the-counter fees.”
The decision follows the abolition of paper bill and over-the-counter fees by the New South Wales government.
Today, almost 40% of EnergyAustralia residential customers have chosen to receive bills via e-mail.
“We always encourage customers to choose e-bills and manage their accounts online,” Ms Clarke said. “Yes, it helps keep costs down but it’s also a better service because people can monitor their energy consumption and set payment reminders, so they don’t risk missing pay-on-time discounts. It’s an increasingly popular service because it saves customers time and money.”
The fees ($1.69 per paper bill and $1.91 for over-the-counter transactions) were passed through from third parties to customers; EnergyAustralia did not make money from them.
Also, the charges never applied to pensioners, customers on standing offer tariffs, concession card holders, customers in financial hardship and customers receiving their final bill.
Ms Clarke said EnergyAustralia had worked hard to make energy easier for customers. In the past two years EnergyAustralia has:
- Launched Go Neutral, a program which allows customers to offset all the carbon emissions generated from their home’s electricity, at no cost to them.
- Introduced Secure Saver, allowing customers to fix their EnergyAustralia electricity and gas tariffs for two years, and
- Scrapped fees for paper bills and over-the-counter charges.