Electricity: charges and changes
On 1 July 2013 new rules governing the sale of electricity and gas to residential and small business energy customers came into force in NSW. The rules are part of the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF), which is a national customer protection framework and its implementation involved the transfer of state and territory legislation into a single set of national Laws, Regulations and Rules.
The supply of electricity in residential parks falls under the national framework and park owners are able to on-sell electricity as ‘exempt suppliers’.
This is a little confusing for NSW park residents because currently the Residential Parks Act 1998 requires park owners to comply with “the relevant code” when charging for electricity. This code is the ‘Customer Service Standards for the Supply of Electricity to Permanent Residents of Residential Parks’, which can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.
Because the Customer Service Standards is the code prescribed in the Residential Parks Regulation 2006, where there is a conflict between it and the national guideline, the CSS code wins and should be followed.
Once the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 becomes law the old code is likely to fall away and only the new rules will apply. Where the national guideline and Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 are in conflict the Act will prevail and should be followed.
The Tenants’ Union will be publishing a fact sheet on electricity supply and charges for park residents once the Regulation has been finalised.