Consumer Complaints

 

 

Overview

Owner: Greig Hinds
Status: In Progress

Introduction

This project was to establish a single, joint gas and electricity, consumer complaints scheme that satisfies the requirements defined jointly by the regulatory bodies (Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co) and that has coverage of all relevant stakeholders. Further objectives are to establish the scheme in accordance with the policy set out in the 2008 Electricity GPS and the 2008 Gas GPS and to ensure that the scheme is satisfactory to both of the regulatory bodies. The preferred approach was to establish an industry-led (approved) scheme.

Summary of Status

In November 2009 Gas Industry Co recommended to the Associate Minister of Energy and Resources that the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner scheme (EGCC) be approved under the Gas Act 1992. In December the Associate Minister confirmed her approval and the Electricity Commission made a similar decision under the Electricity Act. Membership of the approved scheme became mandatory from 1 April 2010. Gas Industry Co's residual oversight functions of the scheme are expected to transfer to the Ministry of Consumer affairs on 1 October 2010.

Contact Details
Greig Hinds
Tel: 04 472 1800
Greig.Hinds[at]gasindustry.co[dot]nz

Consultation

Previously Consulted On

Proposal to Approve a Joint Electricity and Gas Complaints Resolution Scheme

Date Published: 06 March 2009

Through a Request for Applications, the Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co sought applications for a Joint Electricity and Gas Complaints Scheme, to be approved under the Electricity Act and the Gas Act. As a result of evaluating applications, the Electricity and Gas Complaints Scheme (EGCC) has been selected as the preferred applicant.

As previously foreshadowed it is now appropriate to consult on the comparison of the preferred applicant for an Approved scheme with other options for providing a complaints resolution scheme. For comparative purposes, the other options include the Status Quo and two variants of a Regulated scheme. A consultation paper has been prepared for this purpose. The paper can also be accessed on the Electricity Commission website. The Consultation Paper asks a series of questions and the responses to those questions will be an input to the final decision by the Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co on whether to decide on progressing the Approved scheme option or another option.

Consideration of further information

The consultation paper that has been released compares the application from the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission (EGCC) for an 'approved' complaints resolution scheme with other options for complaints resolution, including regulated options. The EGCC option in the paper is based on the EGCC's proposals to amend its constitution.

On 8 April 2009, the Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co received a letter from the EGCC advising that EGCC members had declined to agree some of these amendment proposals.

EGCC letter dated 6 April 2009

On 8 April 2009, the Electricity Commission also released information relating to the evaluation process under the Official Information Act. In order that all stakeholders have access to the same information, the Commission and Gas Industry Co have agreed to publish the material that was released. It is as follows:

OIA material

In light of the EGCC's letter, the Commission and Gas Industry Co are now considering the way forward and will discuss this at their next Board meetings at the end of April. Submitters' views are important in helping the Commission and Gas Industry Co to determine an appropriate way forward. Stakeholders are still invited to make submissions on the issues canvassed in the consultation paper, in particular, whether there is a preference for an approved scheme provided by the industry, or a regulated scheme.

In recognition of the fact that new material has been released, the Commission and GIC have agreed to extend the submission closing date to 4pm on Monday 20 April 2009.

The preference is to receive submissions in electronic form (Microsoft Word format or pdf) with 'Submission on Approval of a Complaints Resolution Scheme' in the subject header to submissions[at]electricitycommission.govt[dot]nz. However, submissions may also be uploaded onto the Gas Industry Co website, using the 'Upload Submission' button below.

Submissions received by Gas Industry Co will be consolidated with those received by the Electricity Commission.

Submissions received

Request for Applications (RFA) - Complaints Resolution Scheme

Date Published: 08 September 2008

Author: Bas Walker

The Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co sought applications from persons who wished to be selected as the preferred candidate for approval as a complaints resolution scheme under the Electricity Act 1992 and the Gas Act 1992. The Request for Applications was issued on 5 September 2008 and can be viewed at, or downloaded from, the following location:

http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/opdev/retail/consumercomplaints

Expressions of interest were requested by 19 September 2008.

Applications closed: 4pm on 8 December 2008

The Request for Applications is supported by a submissions analysis which responds to the issues raised in the March 2008 consultation document 'Approval of a Joint Gas and Electricity Complaints Resolution Scheme'. The submissions analysis can be viewed or downloaded from the following location:

http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/opdev/retail/consumercomplaints

Approval of a Joint Electricity and Gas Complaints Resolution Scheme

Date Published: 28 March 2008

Author: Bas Walker

The Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co invited submissions on the consultation paper 'Approval of a Joint Electricity and Gas Complaints Resolution Scheme'. The Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co have agreed to act jointly in the consultation and proposed approval of a complaints resolution scheme and the requirements of that scheme.The reason for this is that a single dual-fuel scheme provides benefits such as ease of access, consistency of outcomes and efficiencies of operation.

The consultation paper can be downloaded from either the Electricity Commission or the Gas Industry Co websites.

The Gas Industry Co link can be accessed by clicking here.

Submissions closed: 8 May 2008

Submissions received:

In order to foster an informed and transparent process, the Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co made submissions available to the public on their websites. Submitters should note that the contents of submissions on this paper, whether provided directly or indirectly via Gas Industry Co, were received by the Electricity Commission, and is among the information the Commission holds that is subject to public release under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). Details on the consultation process and making submissions are set out in the consultation paper. Submissions can be viewed at: http://www.electricitycommission.govt.nz/submissions/retail/consumer-complaints.

Electricity and Gas Complaints Resolution Scheme - Approval under the Gas Act and Electricity Act - Submissions Analysis

The Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co have operated a joint process over the last 18 months, guided by the Government Policy Statements on Electricity and Gas, to achieve the goal of a single, dual fuel, complaints resolution scheme that meets the principles of accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, and community awareness.

In March 2009, the Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co issued a joint consultation paper seeking submissions on a proposal by the Electricity Commission to approve, and Gas Industry Co to recommend that the Minister of Energy and Resources approve, the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission (EGCC) , as the single, dual fuel, complaints resolution scheme under the provisions of the Electricity Act 1992 and the Gas Act 1992 respectively. The consultation paper compared the option of approving the EGCC with other options including a fully regulated scheme.

Submissions on this consultation paper were received in April 2009 and the Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co have published an Analysis of Submissions paper that highlights a number of key issues that emerged from submissions; summarises other issues that arose from submissions, particularly in response to the questions contained in the consultation paper; and outlines the response of the Electricity Commission and Gas Industry Co on each of the issues that have been raised.

The paper can be accessed through the following link:

Electricity and Gas Complaints Resolution Scheme - Approval under the Gas Act and Electricity Act - Submissions Analysis