May 4, 2018
The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has launched an investigation into Ergon Energy for overcharging large regional business customers.
QCA Chair Prof Roy Green, whose term at the QCA expires next month, said Ergon was legally required to charge its large customers the regional retail notified electricity prices set by the QCA each year.
“However, Ergon Retail has been charging large regional businesses for metering costs, in addition to notified prices, since January 1, 2017,” Prof Green said.
He said the QCA had called on Ergon Retail to cease charging these amounts immediately and had begun an investigation to determine the full extent of the breach.
“Preliminary information from Ergon Retail indicates that about 1100 large regional businesses have been overcharged a total of more than $760,000 for metering services, with some customers potentially overcharged thousands of dollars,” he said.
“The QCA’s investigation will confirm precisely how many customers have been affected and to what extent.
“This is a significant matter that requires a full investigation, and today we have taken action to ensure customers pay Ergon Retail only what the law requires.
“Once we have completed the investigation and have all the facts, the QCA will determine what enforcement action should be taken against Ergon Retail.
“Our primary concern is for customers. We will do everything in our power to ensure they are fully refunded for any illegal charges and will not hesitate to protect customers by acting on any further breaches uncovered by the investigation.”
He said that based on current evidence the breach affected large regional businesses that used more than 750MW/hours of electricity a year.
Any large business customers in regional Queensland with concerns about their bills should contact the QCA via their website or Ergon Retail on 1300-135-210.