Within the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF), energy will be sold either by retailers or those holding a retail exemption. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is presently developing a guideline that will inform stakeholders on the details of exemptions. Outlining PIAC’s key concerns as the exempt supplier framework develops, this submission responds to the AER’s Issues Paper: AER approach to retail exemptions. PIAC argues that the risk of facilitating a multi-tiered energy market would be reduced if customers of exempt suppliers were offered protections that mirrored, as closely as possible, the protections offered to retail customers under the NECF. The assurance of a continuous supply of energy, especially for consumers using life support equipment, is but one of the issues covered as PIAC calls upon the AER to facilitate a market where consumers of energy exist on a more level playing field. PIAC also highlights the need for a transparent national energy market in which suppliers are visible and their practices open to scrutiny.
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