The Australian Energy Market Commission is considering protections for energy customers affected by family violence. Given the prevalence of family violence in Australia, national protections are needed, building on those already operating in the Victorian energy sector.
High-quality family violence protections would help prevent abuse perpetrated through energy services and support women and children to recover, consistent with the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032.
The proposed protections are a promising start, but need to include other features to properly support victim-survivor safety and recovery, in particular:
- a requirement for whole-of-business family violence training, to enable preventative product and service design, regulatory compliance, and safe and respectful customer interactions
- stronger account security requirements
- an overriding obligation for victim-survivor safety to be paramount in energy retailer actions
- requirements for appropriate management of family-violence related debt
- a contemporary, best practice approach to respecting victim-survivor disclosures and not requiring evidence to access assistance.
Read the full submission here
March 25 2022