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About us

We’re not part of the government. We’re a not-for-profit independent company set up to provide a dispute resolution service.

We have relationships with departments and agencies in the Victorian and Commonwealth governments. We provide submissions, reports and data to governments based on the work we do. The submissions we make to governments help inform energy and water policy, and improvements in the sector.

We have relationships with energy, water and consumer affairs regulators in Victoria and nationally. We provide reports on systemic issues and cases of serious misconduct that we identify in our complaints. We also provide analysis to consultation processes with regulators such as the Essential Services Commission, to help with positive changes in the industry.

We have memoranda of understanding with several regulators. These documents outline how we work together:

We’re a not-for-profit independent company. Our funding comes from the electricity, gas and water companies that are required to become members of our scheme. We charge these companies fees for handling the complaints their customers make against them. The companies have a financial incentive to improve the way they service their customers, in order to reduce complaints and the money it costs them whenever a customer comes to us with a complaint.

Our work puts us in a good position to help companies make these improvements. We share our experience and data with energy and water companies to help drive customer service improvements. We also run complaint handling training for energy and water companies.

Our board includes four industry directors, made up of leaders from members of our scheme.

We know that consumer groups have helped drive improvements in customer service and consumer protections. We have relationships with consumer groups. We share our reports and data with consumer groups to help inform the work they do with Victorian customers.

We also consult with consumer representatives on our Community Consultation Group and Process Advisory Committee, and we work alongside consumer and community groups on community outreach activities.

Our board includes four consumer directors, nominated by the Essential Services Commission and approved by the Board.

Our Ombudsman, Cynthia Gebert, is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA), a professional association and the peak body for Ombudsmen in Australia and New Zealand. We’re also part of the Australia and New Zealand Energy and Water Ombudsman Network (ANZEWON).

We work closely with other Ombudsman offices, including: