Energy retailer Lumo Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Lumo) has paid a penalty of $10,800 following the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Lumo call centre staff made representations to a number of consumers in February 2016 that the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) was responsible for increases to Lumo’s retail gas tariffs when the rise was due to a commercial pricing decision made by Lumo.
“It’s important that energy retailers take responsibility for their commercial decisions, especially those which may be detrimental to consumers, rather than attempting to shift blame onto regulatory organisations like the AER,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“Energy customers rely on retailers to provide accurate information. Consumers are entitled to make informed decisions about their energy use and choice of provider.”
The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Lumo had contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by making a false or misleading representation with respect to the price of its retail gas tariff.
The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the ACL. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain provisions of the ACL.
Lumo is a retail energy provider wholly owned by Snowy Hydro Limited. Lumo operates across South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
The ACCC maintains a register for infringement notices.
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