September 9, 2016

EnergyAustralia, one of Australia’s leading energy retailers, today welcomed a report by the Financial and Consumer Rights Council (FCRC) identifying key ways in which the industry can improve service for customers struggling to pay their bills.

The ‘Rank the Energy Retailer’ report rates the capacity of energy retailers to deliver service to financially vulnerable customers based on communication, attitudes and process, client outcomes and overall performance.

The report by Victoria’s peak body for financial counsellors found EnergyAustralia was the best-performed of all top-tier retailers at meeting the needs of vulnerable customers. But the FCRC said more could be done to improve communication, enhance retailers’ understanding of the needs of long-term hardship customers and establish consistent processes for individual programs.

Simone Gow, EnergyAustralia Customer Experience Executive, said the company had taken on-board the FCRC’s findings from two years ago and would look at how it could further improve its service.

“In 2014 EnergyAustralia was ranked third in the FCRC’s report among top-tier retailers. We took the Council’s recommendations seriously and are very pleased to have turned our performance around so that we now lead the industry,” Simone said.

“That’s great, but energy is an essential service and the report tells us we have more work to do helping our customers in financial hardship. We’ve shown we can improve and we’ll redouble our efforts to enhancing our hardship practices and programs,” she said.

The report found EnergyAustralia raised its overall performance score from a “poor” 3.63 in 2014 to an “acceptable” 6.33 in 2016, making it the industry leader. 

Simone said EnergyAustralia was particularly proud that customers rated its response to family violence and associated sensitivities as “outstanding”. Also, EnergyAustralia was the only retailer to be awarded scores of “excellent” and 10/10.

Around 45 per cent of customers interviewed for the report identified EnergyAustralia as the best performer among top-tier retailers.