Territory Stories

Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT



Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT

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Tabled paper 934


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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55 Jacana Energy Most commonly raised issues - 2017/18 Issue Notes No. Excessive charges Includes issues arising from estimation process 22 Credit listing Seeking to remove listing with a credit agency 21 Solar Includes delay in paperwork for new systems, high estimates not taking solar installation into account, issues relating to solar rebate calculation 18 Financial hardship 14 Changed circumstances Includes problems arising due to change in address or living arrangements, administration of estates 10 Disconnection 9 Unreasonable charges Chiefly reconnection fees 8 Billing For example, bill not received or two bills received at the same time, or sent to wrong address 6 Reading Issues with meter reading processes 4 Power and Water Most commonly raised issues - 2017/18 Issue Notes No. Excessive charges Includes 8 suggested to arise from water leaks and 3 from estimation process 19 Power supply Issues relating to inconsistency or failure of supply 6 Credit listing Seeking to remove listing with a credit agency 4 Unreasonable charges For example, sewerage fees on unoccupied land or common property 3 Financial hardship 2 Excessive charges - estimated meter reads Consumers are required to provide access to the service provider to allow meter reads. The reality is that many people have fenced properties with locked gates and many people have dogs, making meter reading problematic. There are therefore frequent times when a meter read is not practicable and billing is based on an estimated read. This can raise an issue in itself. If the estimate is set too high, the provider will receive complaints. If it is set too low and is continued over several periods, the consumer will receive a larger bill when a read is carried out, again giving rise to complaints. One way to approach this issue is for providers to invest in technology that will allow automated or remote reading of meters. Providers are exploring options in this regard but implementation of these options will take time and money. In the meantime, providers can only do their best to make a fair estimate. Even so, with individual usage levels varying significantly over time for a host of reasons, this will continue to present a source of complaint. The advent of solar systems has added to issues experienced with estimates, with a number of complaints claiming that estimates have been too high because of failure to sufficiently take into account solar rebates.