The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released an issues paper in November, 2012, that outlined its preliminary views about the approach it would take to regulated residential retail electricity prices from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016. In this submission, PIAC responds to the issues paper and comments on a number of aspects of IPART’s proposed approach. PIAC states its opposition to IPART’s proposal to require existing customers on regulated contracts to ‘opt-in’ to the regulated price, while also addressing the need for a comprehensive public information campaign and a ban on certain exit fees if the proposal was adopted. In addition, the submission addresses the manner in which IPART sets the energy purchase cost allowance for standard retailers, as well as late payment fees and security deposits. Finally, PIAC recommends that IPART model the impact of its final decision on consumers after housing costs are taken out, as this would illustrate the effects on different sub-groups of consumers and may identify emerging groups who are struggling to meet the cost of electricity.
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