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NSW bans paper fees on energy bills

Wednesday, 13 September 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

The NSW government is to end paper bill charges from energy retailers as part of a series of measures included in its energy bill relief package.

‘A powerful step forward’: Kellie Northwood, executive director, Keep Me Posted

The move has been welcomed as a ‘significant milestone’ by consumer advocate group Keep Me Posted, which has campaigned for more than a year for the consumer’s right to choose, without penalty, how they receive bills from banks, utility companies and other service providers.

“This is a powerful step forward for NSW consumers and we praise the NSW State Government for their leadership,” said Kellie Northwood, Executive Director, Keep Me Posted. “Australian consumers’ voice has been heard and the NSW Government has acted quickly to tackle unfair fees.”

Along with increasing rebates and granting discounts on equipment upgrades for households and small businesses, the state government package includes the end of ‘unnecessary charges’. NSW Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin said energy retailers will be forced to scrap early termination fees, paper bill fees and fees for paying over the counter at Australia Post.

The launch of the energy package follows the recent Consumer Affairs Forum in Melbourne that saw federal and state ministers announcing that the Treasury would undertake ‘regulatory assessment’ of fees for paper billing.

In the lead up to the forum, Keep Me Posted representatives met with NSW Consumer Affairs Minister Matt Kean to raise awareness of the impacts of paper billing fees on consumers, particularly the most vulnerable members of the community.

“We hope that NSW’s example will set a precedent that will be promptly followed by other state governments,” said Northwood. “We also call on energy companies to take the opportunity to do the right thing beyond NSW borders and scrap paper fees for all their Australian consumers.”



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