NSW pricing regulator finds energy disconnections rising

Complaints to energy companies and disconnections have risen in the year according to a survey by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal in New South Wales (IPART).

There has been a 25 per cent rise in the failure to pay electricity bills which has resulted in services being severed. Gas disconnections have increased by 15 per cent for the same reason.

Electricity companies have seen a 53 per cent rise in the number of complaints, while gas has experienced a 31 per cent bump in the same year to June period.

IPART chief executive Jim Cox said that information must be available to customers.

He commented: "Despite increasing levels of disconnections, the proportion of residential customers using instalment plans to pay their electricity bills has not increased, suggesting that consumers may not always be aware of the options available to them.

"Retailers need to work harder with their customers and actively promote the payment options available before those experiencing hardship are faced with disconnection."

As a result of a 20 per cent increase in electricity prices, it's expected that more and more disconnections and complaints will occur over the coming 12 months.

If you are unhappy with your energy provider, talk to a comparison and switching service to see if there is a better deal out there for you.

Posted by Charlie Moore