Changing Energy Contracts

Northern Rivers Echo 14 September 2006

Changing Energy Contracts

Since the NSW Government opened up the energy sector to retail competition, my office has been contacted recently by a number of people concerned about contracts being offered to them by alternative energy providers.

Whilst the new rules allow us as customers to shop around and get a better deal, it can also cause confusion about what is being offered.

The Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW has produced a Fact Sheet for customers considering a new contract. Amongst the advice they offer is that the consumer should carefully read any contract they are offered before signing and check it matches the deal the marketer described.

They advise there are two types of contracts, `Standard Form Contracts' and `Negotiated Contracts'. Standard Form Contracts apply when you buy electricity or gas direct from the standard retailer in your area, you automatically enter into a Standard Form Customer Contract. This contract is regulated by the Government and has standard rules and customer protections.

Negotiated Contracts apply if you change your retailer or accept a different offer from your standard retailer, you will enter a Negotiated Contract.

If you would like further information please contact my office for a copy of the Fact Sheet.

Small Business September Continues

In my last column I reported on Pollies for Small Business Day which is part of Small Business September, a month of activities highlighting the importance of small businesses.

The Month includes events and information about a variety of small business interests such as improving marketing skills, discovering how to use the latest innovations, expanding networks and growing your business.

The wide-ranging events of Small Business September 2006 are designed specifically to assist small businesses achieve their business goals. Small Business September helps business to develop strategies to deal with everything from skills shortages and succession planning to exporting and the forces affecting local and international markets.

Small Business September 2006 offers information to help strengthen small business and assist them to prepare and grow for the future.
For more information about Small Business September please contact my office or visit the website at www.smallbusinessmonth.nsw.gov.au.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577