[Media release]: NSW bans paper fees on energy bills: great win for consumers
Keep Me Posted applauds NSW Government’s decision to keep energy consumers posted… without charge. On Sunday 3rd September, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the end of paper bill charges from energy retailers as part of a series of measures included in the Energy bill relief package.
Along with increasing rebates and granting discounts on equipment upgrades for households and small businesses, the package includes the end of ‘unnecessary charges’. Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin said energy retailers will be forced to scrap early termination fees, paper bill fees and fees for paying over the counter at Australia Post.
“This is a powerful stepforward for NSW consumers and we praise the NSW State Governement for their leadership,” commented Kellie Northwood, Executive Director, Keep Me Posted. “Australian consumers’ voice has been heard and the NSW Government has acted quickly to tackle unfair fees.”
The launch of the energy bill relief package intervenes just three days after the Consumer Affairs Forum held in Melbourne on Thursday 31st August that saw the Federal and State Ministers for Consumer Affairs announcing that Commonwealth Treasury would undertake regulatory assessment of fees for paper billing.
In the lead up to the Forum, Keep Me Posted had met with NSW Consumer Affairs Minister Matt Kean to raise awareness of the many and complex impacts of paper billing fees on consumers, particularly the most vulnerable members of the community.
“We hope that NSW’s example will set a precedent that will be promptly followed by other State Governments” furthered Northwood. “We also call on energy companies to take the opportunity to do the right thing beyond NSW borders and scrap paper fees for all their Australian consumers.”
Keep Me Posted said that NSW’s announcement is a significant milestone for the campaign, the proof that paper fees are not doomed to stick around.