DPA is currently writing a submission for the Electricity Authority on the review of their Consumer Care Guidelines. The Guidelines cover issues like what power companies should do to support customers struggling with high bills and protecting medically dependent customers.

Currently, power companies only have to voluntarily comply with the Guidelines, so they are not consistently applying the current guidelines.

We would like to hear about your experiences as a disabled person or whānau/family member in dealing with power companies, particularly around issues like power bills and getting medical dependency recognised.

We would also like to hear which of the four options, listed below, you would like us to support. Currently, we are leaning towards supporting Options 3 and 4.

The Authority has put out a consultation document outlining four options:

  • Option 1 – Keep the Guidelines as they are (do nothing).
  • Option 2 – Leave the Guidelines voluntary, but address issues around how they are understood.
  • Option 3 – Make mandatory the parts of the Guidelines that provide key consumer welfare protections (parts 2, 6, 7, and 8).
  • Option 4 – Make parts 1 to 9 of the Guidelines mandatory. Make all the guidelines mandatory with the Electricity Authority monitoring power companies’ compliance to make sure this happens.

This consultation is open until 2 October, however it would be good to have feedback by Wednesday 27 September at the latest.

We also encourage people to make their own submissions by either emailing consumercareconsultation@ea.govt.nz or by completing the online survey.

Find out more about the Electricity Authority review of Consumer Care Guidelines.