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NETCC Council Meeting - November 2022

Published on - 15 Dec 2022

This is a summary of the NETCC Council meeting held on 17 November 2022. Communiques of each meeting are produced so that stakeholders can be informed about the work of the Council and its implementation of the Code.

Governance and administration

Council further discussed the governance arrangements with the CEC as Code Administrator and Steward, including ownership of the intellectual property that is developed to operationalise the NETCC program.

Ombudsman jurisdiction

The Chair and the CEC met with the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON), Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ), Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) and Energy and Water Ombudsman South Australia (EWOSA) for an update on the ombudsman jurisdiction expansion project.
The Ombudsmen have proposed that their jurisdiction is expanded to encompass complaints relating to services or products that have potential to disrupt energy supply to the home. Discussions with the relevant regulators are ongoing.

Council noted that when the NETCC program becomes operational, the pathway for consumer complaint resolution will still be unclear. The Administrator will need to keep an appropriate record of the complaints it receives which are both in and out of its jurisdiction.

Council was advised that the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are undertaking similar reviews of dispute resolution pathways for consumers who have purchased new energy tech. Both DELWP and the AER have recently released consultation papers and invited submissions from relevant stakeholders. The CEC has provided a response to DELWP. The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) has also been engaging in discussions of how best to raise consumer protections surrounding new energy tech purchases.

Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel

The Chair provided Council with an update on the appointment process for the Code Monitoring and Compliance Panel. Interviews for the position of Chair will be conducted.

All-Energy Conference

Council received an update on the NETCC sessions at the All-Energy conference which was held 26-27 October 2022. Introductory sessions on the NETCC program were held on each conference day.

Council’s presentation outlined the challenges of consumer protection surrounding new energy tech purchases and the journey undertaken to develop the NETCC. An overview of how the program will be administered was also provided.

The second session was recorded and will be shared on the NETCC website.

Further information about the transition to the NETCC was available at the CEC booth in the conference centre. The CEC responded to many questions from ASRs and prospective applicants, which overall indicated positive engagement with the NETCC program.

Program update

The CEC provided an overview of the expression of interest process that was undertaken to appoint the NETCC Finance Delegate role. Several firms with experience in credit law and consumer protection were approached to submit a proposal. After assessing the proposals submitted, the CEC has appointed Finlaysons to the role. The CEC is currently working with Finlaysons to finalise the approach to processing applications from Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) providers.

The NETCC pilot program has launched. The CEC has received a number of applications from new energy tech providers interested in joining the pilot program. A transition pack will be sent to ASRs later in November 2022. This pack will provide an overview of the updates ASRs may need to make to their documentation and/or business handling practices to comply with the NETCC.

The CEC is finalising the testing of the Approved Seller portal and Approved Seller map.

ASRs will begin to be transitioned to the NETCC program on 18 January 2023. By 1 February 2023, all ASRs will have transitioned to become an Approved Seller.

Council discussed the appropriate audience and timing of a NETCC launch event. As the program is nation-wide, a webinar to promote the NETCC may be most effective in the initial stages of program launch. This could be followed by an event targeted at regulators and government departments, as well as a media campaign in early 2023.

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The NETCC Council