WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT

1Know the complaint
  • Take your time
  • Clarify the issues
  • Consider a resolution
 
2Read our website and FAQs  
3Try to resolve  
4Seek Further Assistance  

Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Actual meter read

A reading taken when your meter has been accessed and read.

Account holder

The person who has established the account in their name. The account holder will be listed on the bill.

Account number

A unique reference number to identify your account with the retailer or distributor.

Authorised party

The account holder can give the retailer or distributor permission to speak with someone else about their account, this person is called an ‘authorised party’. Without this authority the retailer or distributor can only speak with the account holder.

Australian Energy Regulator

The national government body that regulates the energy industry. South Australia’s electricity and gas industries come under the jurisdiction of the Australian Energy Regulator.

Average daily cost

The dollar value of your average daily electricity, gas or water use.

Average daily use

The average amount of electricity, gas or water that you use each day over a specified period.

B

Billing period

The supply period covered by each bill, usually a quarter.

C

Concessions

Concessions are allowances granted by the government for consumers in particular situations.

Connection

The establishment of your electricity, gas or water supply is referred to as its connection.

Consumption

The amount of electricity, gas or water you use is your consumption. It can also be referred to as use or usage.

Contract/plan

The agreement you have accepted or signed with your retailer, which includes the terms and conditions of your supply.

Cooling off period

The period of 10 business days after you accept a contract in which you have the right to change your mind and cancel the contract agreement without penalty.

D

Deemed retail contract

A contract that will be in place by default as soon as you start using electricity or gas at a property without having established a contract with a retailer.

Disclosure statement

Your retailer must give you a single, plain English statement that explains the key terms of the contract including prices, fees and charges, and the length of the contract once you have entered in to a contract with them.

Disconnection

When the supply of electricity, gas or water is stopped completely, it is referred to as a disconnection.

Disconnection notice

A letter or notice left at the property to advise that the supply of electricity or gas will be stopped on a specified date.

Distributor

The entity that supplies the electricity, gas or water across the network, to your property, reads your meter and provides metering data to your retailer.

Due date

The date by which full payment of your bill is due.

E

Enquiry

One of the classifications for our cases, "Enquiry" is a type of complaint level within the scheme.

Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA)

An independent economic regulator, ESCOSA is responsible for a range of tasks, including the licensing of water retail operations and water retail price regulation in South Australia.

Estimated meter read

A reading calculated when your meter has not been accessed or read, usually based on your previous actual meter reads.

Exit/early termination fee

A fee charged (as outlined in the terms and conditions) when you leave a retailer prior to the contract expiry date.

Extension

If you experience difficulty paying a bill by the due date, the retailer may be able to provide an extension on the due date, allowing you additional time to make the payment.

F

Facilitation

One of the classifications for our cases, "Facilitation" is a type of complaint level within the scheme.

Feed in tariff

The value you are paid per kilowatt-hour for the solar generation that you feed back in to the electricity grid, as recorded on your electricity meter (not your solar inverter.)

G

Green energy

Your retailer may offer you a “green” product, energy sourced from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro.

Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment

A payment that a distributor has to make to you if they fail to meet regulated service standards. In South Australia this applies to SA Power Networks for electricity. There are no regulated service levels for gas distribution in South Australia.

I

Independent

Not being affiliated with, affected by or advocating on behalf of consumers or industry.

Investigation

One of the classifications for our cases, "Investigation" is a type of complaint level within the scheme.

Issue date

The date that your retailer generates a bill.

J

Jurisdiction

In terms of the Energy and Water Ombudsman SA, jurisdiction refers to the areas of the energy and water industry in which the Ombudsman has the authority to handle disputes.

K

Kilolitres

The unit of measurement for your water usage.

Kilowatt-hour

Kilowatt-hours (kWh) is the unit of measurement used for your electricity consumption. It is calculated as the energy equivalent to consumption of power in kilowatts and time in hours, with a kilowatt being equal to 1,000 watts.

L

Late payment fee

A fee that may be applied in accordance with your contract terms when full payment of your account is not made by the due date. 

M

Market retail contract

A negotiated contract, often called a "plan" for which the terms and conditions can be agreed between you and the retailer, but must still comply with the minimum consumer protection requirements specified by the National Energy Retail Rules.

Megajoules

Megajoules (MJ) is the unit of measurement used for your gas consumption. A megajoule equals 1,000,000 (1 million) joules.

Meter number

The serial number on your meter(s) and on your bill.

Meter Installation Reference Number (MIRN)

The numerical identifier used by gas distributors and retailers that is attached to your supply address..

N

National Energy Customer Framework (NECF)

The structure in place for the national regulation of electricity and gas. It includes the National Energy Retail Law, National Energy Retail Rules and National Energy Retail Regulations.

National Energy Retailer Rules (NERR)

Part of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF). The rules detail consumer protections for the supply of energy to small retail customers.

National Energy Retailer Law (NERL)

Part of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF). The act regulates the retail supply of energy to customers and makes provisions for the relationship between the distributors and consumers of energy .

National Meter Identifier (NMI)

The numerical identifier which is attached to electricity supply address.

O

Off-peak

Some properties that have electric hot water systems, underfloor heating or pool/spa pumps may be eligible for an “off-peak” rate (may be referred to as "ancillary" on your bill), applied to the consumption used to operate dedicated appliances during set “off-peak” times, such as overnight. This can sometimes require a secondary meter at the property. 

Office of the Technical Regulator

The Office of the Technical Regulator is responsible for monitoring and regulation of the safety and technical standards in the electricity and gas supply industries and the development of technical standards for the water industry.

Ombudsman

A term originating from Sweden, an Ombudsman is someone appointed to independently resolve complaints through a service that is just, fair and free.

P

Pay on time discount

If your plan includes an additional discount for paying your bill by the due date this is often referred to as a ‘Pay on time’ discount.

Payment plan

An arrangement where by regular, more frequent, smaller payments are made towards your bill.

Planned outage

A planned disruption to supply, usually for repairs or maintenance of the network, advised in advance.

R

Refer to Higher Level (RHL)

One of the classifications for our cases, "Refer to Higher Level" (RHL) is a type of complaint level within the scheme.

Reminder notice

Notification that the due date for a bill has passed and payment is due immediately.

Restriction

As an essential service, your water supply will not be disconnected completely for non-payment of bills. The supply may be restricted to a regulated minimum flow rate.

Retailer

The provider that bills you for your consumption.

S

Solar generation

Electricity produced by your solar system.

Standard retail contract

These are basic contracts with regulated model terms and conditions that apply as a minimum and cannot be changed by the retailer. Standard contracts are ongoing (no fixed term), with pricing set by the retailer. Each retailer must offer a plan that meets the conditions of the Standard Retail Contract, though it is unlikely they will call the plan a Standard Retail Contract.

Supply/service charge

Daily charge applied to your bills for the transmission, distribution and maintenance of network infrastructure for electricity, gas and water to your property, regardless of your use.

T

Tariff

The price you are charged per unit for your energy and water use. This will be set out in your plan.

Transfer

The process of changing retailers.

U

Unplanned outage

An unplanned disruption to supply, due to unforeseen circumstances such as extreme weather events or accidents.

TOP