UTILITIES DISPUTES CASE NUMBER 72673
Recommendation - upheld
Ms T complained her electricity retailer sent her a high bill. She said the retailer did not bill her for three months over winter. Ms T said as a result, she lost the opportunity to adjust her power usage during this time.
Ms T said the retailer did not send her a bill after it mistakenly terminated her electricity account instead of her neighbour’s account. Ms T said once she saw how high the bill was, she adjusted her power usage and the next bill dropped.
Ms T said she wanted the retailer to pay the difference between the high bill and her average power usage because it was responsible for the delay in billing.
The retailer said Ms T used the power and it was not responsible for Ms T’s power consumption.
The parties could not agree on an outcome and asked the Commissioner to make a decision.
The Commissioner upheld the complaint and recommended the retailer pay Ms T $185.61.
The Commissioner found:
- The retailer’s late invoice did not breach its terms and conditions
- The late invoice impacted Ms T’s consumption behaviour
- It is reasonable for consumers to rely on regular bills to understand how their power usage impacts their bills
- It was fair and reasonable for the retailer to compensate Ms T for some of the power consumption
- It was fair and reasonable for the retailer to pay Ms T $185.61 for the difference between the high bill and her average usage after the date Ms T would have adjusted her power usage
Both parties accepted the Commissioner’s recommendation.