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New advocate appointed to promote energy consumer interests in the ACT

The ACT Government has partnered with Energy Consumers Australia to give ACT electricity and gas consumers a greater voice, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury, announced today.

“Energy regulation is a complex and contested space. Having a dedicated and well connected consumer advocate will mean the community’s interest is always at the forefront of regulatory decisions,” said Minister for Climate Change and Energy Shane Rattenbury

“The ACT’s inaugural energy consumer advocate, Eileen Newmarch, will ensure the interests of households, non-government organizations and small businessse are front and centre during price determination and other regulatory processes at both the national and territory level,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Eileen is a financial counsellor, former public servant and member of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal energy and water team. A key part of her role will be engaging with the ACT’s lower income households, small businesses and non-government organisations.

“This includes working with the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) to share information with its member organisations about the range of ACT Government energy concessions and energy programs that encourage the efficient use of energy and help reduce costs.”

The ACT Government and Energy Consumers Australia provided $50,000 each to jointly fund the position for two years. The position operates under a consortium arrangement led by ACTCOSS and including Care Financial Counselling Inc, the Canberra Business Chamber Small Business Taskforce, the Conservation Council of the ACT and SEEchange.

The advocate position will complement the existing arrangements for ACT consumers. The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal remains the main avenue for resolution of energy consumer disputes, whereas the new energy consumer advocate will represent consumers in energy policy and regulatory consultation processes.

“We are very pleased to support energy consumer advocacy in the ACT through this grant,” said Rosemary Sinclair, CEO of Energy Consumers Australia. 

“Residential and small business consumers in the ACT will benefit from distinct advocacy for their issues, be they similar or different to those in other jurisdictions,” Ms Sinclair said.

 

Source: Media Release

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