EWOV was set up with important regulatory links, in particular to Victoria’s utilities regulator, the Essential Services Commission (ESC) (and its predecessor organisation, the Office of the Regulator-General), which approved the scheme in 1995. A formal memorandum of understanding sets out the roles of each of our offices—covering things such as referral of complaints, regular meetings between us, and information and data sharing where appropriate.
With the introduction of the National Energy Customer Framework, we’re developing a similar memorandum of understanding with the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).
We take opportunities to contribute our experience of customer complaints to regulatory consultation processes.
We play a key role in identifying systemic issues and reporting them, and cases of serious misconduct, to the appropriate regulators. This helps ensure that customer concerns are fed directly into the regulatory system, where change can be effected. It also helps ensure that industry trends are quickly identified, and acted on, especially where they have the capacity to affect groups of customers.
The Ombudsman has the power to report companies to the ESC. If the company is found to be in breach of its operating licence, it risks losing the licence.