In the July to September 2012 quarter, 2,326 customers raised Transfer as their main issue — down 9% from 2,557 customers in the July to September 2011 quarter.
The most common Transfer issues
Transfer is the process of switching an electricity or natural gas account from one energy retailer to another. Common issues included transfer without consent, transfer delay, cooling-off rights, transfer objections, contract terms, transfer in error and billing,
For more information on Transfer cases—and cases about energy marketing—see our Marketing and Transfer Report for July – September 2012. EWOV’s next Marketing and Transfer Report will be released in mid-February 2013.
|Case Study: Premium Feed-in Tariff lost after retailer switch (2012/24599)
A year after she switched to a new retailer in June 2011, the customer still wasn’t receiving Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFiT) credits as she had previously. The customer said the new retailer assured her that the application of the PFiT would continue as it had since 2009. When she contacted EWOV in June 2012, we arranged an Assisted Referral. In July 2012, the issue was still unresolved—with the retailer maintaining the delay was due to confusion around the National Meter Identifier (NMI) assigned to the customer’s property. The NMI is the unique number used by electricity companies to identify the meter.
Our investigation of the complaint involved both the customer’s electricity retailer and her local electricity distributor. It was revealed that the property was renovated in early 2011. To facilitate the renovations, and with government approval, the solar panels were temporarily removed. The local distributor received a service order to abolish the meter at the property and put in place a builder’s pole. The pole remained there until late April 2011, when a request was made for a new supply point. While the customer’s electrician installed a new switchboard during the renovations, the meter wasn’t replaced. With the renovations completed, a new supply point was made and a new NMI assigned to it. While the old NMI was registered as a solar site, the new NMI was registered as single phase meter with no reference to solar. As to whether the PFiT may be applicable to the original NMI only, our review of section 40FA (E) terms and conditions of PFiT in the Electricity Industry Act revealed no such condition. The distributor said the retailer should have included special instructions in the service order—stating the previous NMI and that the PFiT applied, together with an explanation that this was the same customer and the same premises.
The electricity retailer apologised to the customer. It confirmed the PFiT would be re-instated to the property and backdated to the new connection date—once the customer completed the necessary paperwork. The customer was satisfied with this outcome.