Published on - 16 Feb 2023
The Chair welcomed to the Council Luke Lovell, the new representative of Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC).
The Chair congratulated the CEC on behalf of Council on the successful launch of the NETCC program. The CEC provided Council with an update on the launch:
Council agreed to write to SCO (Energy Council Senior Committee of Officials) to update them on the launch of the NETCC program.
In December 2022 the Chair and Council members met with the Minister for Energy and Renewables in Tasmania, Guy Barnett, to discuss the decision to require Approved Seller status for participants in the state’s new Energy Saver Loan Scheme.
The Minister was informed of the different ways in which the NETCC clarifies the general principles of the Australian Consumer Law in relation to New Energy Tech and extends and strengthens existing protections. This information was sourced from the determinations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Competition Tribunal to grant authorisation to the NETCC. The CEC advised the Minister of the process undertaken to determine the NETCC fees, including the extensive consultation that was undertaken with Council and ASRs. It was noted that the large majority of program participants pay the minimum annual fee. The Chair noted that the NETCC had been developed at the request of the energy ministers through SCO.
Following consultations with Council, industry and other stakeholders, the Tasmanian Government has confirmed that Approved Seller status will continue to be a requirement under the Energy Saver Loan Scheme.
Council confirmed the finalisation of governance arrangements between Council and the CEC, noting that further discussions will be held as required as the program becomes more established.
The consumer representative on the panel has been appointed, and progress is being made on the industry representative appointment.
The CEC and a Council representative will meet with a large provider to respond to their queries on the NETCC’s requirements. These queries have been useful in clarifying how the general principles of the NETCC should be applied in practice, particularly for large businesses with diverse offerings.
The CEC will be launching a ‘Solar Month’ initiative throughout March. This campaign aims to raise awareness and confidence amongst consumers around purchasing solar PV and energy storage systems. Solar Month will also champion success stories and current projects from businesses in the industry. Next meeting: 23 March 2023.