New Energy Tech Consumer Code

Summary

Flexigroup Limited applied to the Tribunal for review under s101 on 30 December 2019; the matter is now before the Tribunal and the ACCC determination has not come into effect.

Status update

On 30 December 2019, Flexigroup (an interested party in this authorisation) lodged an application for review of the ACCC's determination with the Australian Competition Tribunal.

The Tribunal has published the application, which can be found here

As a valid application for review has been made to the Tribunal, the ACCC determination has not come into effect.  The matter is now before the Tribunal to consider the matter afresh (a re-hearing).  The Tribunal will contact interested parties in due course.

Background on application and ACCC Determination

On 30 April 2019, the Clean Energy Council (CEC), the Australian Energy Council (AEC), the Smart Energy Council (SEC) and Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) (together the Applicants) lodged an application on behalf of themselves and future signatory providers of ‘new energy tech’ (e.g. solar generation systems, energy storage systems, electrical vehicle charging and other emerging energy products and services) for authorisation for the New Energy Tech Consumer Code (Consumer Code).

The proposed Consumer Code will set minimum standards of good practice and consumer protection that will be provided by signatories covering all aspects of the customer experience, including those ranging from initial marketing and promotion through to, as appropriate, the offering, quoting, contracts, finance and payments, installation, operation, customer service, warranties and complaints handling processes.

On 5 December 2019, the ACCC issued a determination granting conditional authorisation in relation to the Consumer Code for 5 years. The  conditions relate to requirements that “buy now pay later” (BNPL) finance providers must meet in order for signatories to offer such finance arrangements under the Consumer Code, and the prohibition in the Consumer Code on BNPL finance being offered in unsolicited sales of New Energy Tech products.

The Applicants must also report to the ACCC on the operation of the Consumer Code, which will enable the Applicants, as well as the ACCC, to assess whether the Consumer Code is operating as envisioned, including whether there are sufficient protections against harms that arise from unsuitable financial arrangements.

Applicant(s)

  • Energy Consumers Australia
  • Clean Energy Council
  • Australian Energy Council
  • Smart Energy Council

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000439-1

Decisions

Submissions - after draft decision

Document title Date