Submission to Standardised statements for use in customer hardship policies Issues Paper Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC lodged a submission to the AER’s issues paper on standardised statements for use in new, undefined at the time of submitting, Hardship policy guidelines.
PIAC supports the development and application of standardised statements in retail hardship policies, however, as the guidelines they are intended to reflect and give effect to were undefined, the submission provided broad key principles for developing standardised statements and hardship policy guidelines. These are that:
- Customer-facing policies or material do not use the term ‘hardship’ in relation to consumers needing assistance
- That any guidelines or standardised statements do not distinguish between people experiencing payment difficulty due to hardship and other people experiencing payment difficulty.
- That early identification of, and assistance for customers facing payment difficulties due to hardship requires setting simple, broad and objective gateway criteria.
- That hardship policy guidelines and standardised statements should reflect and enable equity of entitlement to assistance, with ongoing access to electricity as an essential service.