(QldGovSpin) Free Service Protects Rights of Queensland Energy Consumers

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 23/08/2004 - 13:18

Queenslanders experiencing difficulties with their electricity or gas supplier should take advantage of the State's free dispute resolution service, Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

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Natural Resources, Mines & Energy, Stephen Robertson
naturalresources@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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20/08/04

Mr Robertson said the Energy Consumer Protection Office (ECPO) offered a fair, independent and confidential dispute resolution service for all electricity and gas consumers.

"Since its establishment in October 2000, ECPO has proved to be invaluable, dealing with almost 6,000 consumer complaints," he said.

"ECPO deals with electricity and gas disputes relating to high accounts, connections and disconnection of power, damages claims to equipment and appliances, interruptions to and quality of supply, extension of the supply network, vegetation control, customer service issues and tariff rates.

"The investigation officers are experienced mediators who work directly with customers and the relevant energy supplier to reach an outcome.

"However, before contacting ECPO consumers should attempt to resolve the problem with their electricity or gas provider," Mr Robertson said.

"If consumers are not satisfied with the outcome and require some practical assistance then they should contact the Energy Consumer Protection Office."

Mr Robertson said the Beattie Government was committed to ensuring all Queenslanders had access to an independent service to help resolve electricity and gas consumer issues.

"Regardless of where you live in Queensland, whether it's Thursday Island, Longreach or Brisbane, everyone can contact ECPO easily and inexpensively.

"The investigation officers often travel throughout the State to meet with customers, investigate cases and carry out informal mediations in order to reach an outcome.

"There are also twenty-eight independent energy mediators and 14 energy arbitrators located around the State. Energy arbitrators have the authority to hear disputes and make determinations of amounts up to $20,000 against energy sector entities.

The Energy Consumer Protection Office can be contacted on 1300 300 993 (toll-free), by visiting www.ecpo.qld.gov.au or in person at Level 9, 239 George Street, Brisbane.

MEDIA: Paul Lynch 3896 3689

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