Consumer Rights

Under the Energy Act (2012), you have the right to reliable and good quality electricity service. You also have a duty to use the electricity provided in a safe manner and for the purpose it is intended. However, you also have the responsibility to pay for the services given within the timeframe set otherwise services can be suspended or disconnected. 

Electricity providers are required to:

  • provide you with fair contracts with clear terms and conditions so you can fully understand the electricity offer
  • notify you if they change your contract including the cost of your electricity
  • provide clear information on your bill
  • tell you about your right to complain if you have problems with your electricity service.

You also have a right to fair and honest dealings with your supplier. Electricity suppliers, like all businesses, must comply with laws governing their sector.

As a customer, you are responsible for ensuring that you:

  • provide open and convenient access to read and maintain your electricity meters
  • provide notice of when you are moving house
  • advise your supplier if you are using the electricity provided differently, for example if you start running a small business from your home

Understanding your electricity bill

The electricity provider will either send your bills via the post, or hand-deliver it to your premises every month. The following information should be recorded on your bill:

  • Your name and address
  • Your electricity meter number 
  • Your customer number
  • How much you need to pay (including any credits or money owed from previous bills) and when you need to pay it by
  • The billing period (the period in which you used the electricity you are being charged for)
  • The meter readings that have been used to calculate the amount of electricity you have used during the billing period (measured in kilowatt hours or kWh for electricity). If your bill is based on an estimate of how much you have used, this should be clearly marked on the bill
  • The amount you are being charged for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity
  • The demand charge for the billing period (this is a fixed charge for supplying your property with electricity, and is not based on how much electricity you use)
  • Any other fees or charges being applied

 

NOTE: If you have a Renewable Energy system, you should also be provided with information about your energy production, either on your PUC bill or as a separate document.