Victoria’s energy regulator, the Essential Services Commission (ESC), has confirmed it has issued $900,000 in penalty notices to Momentum Energy for allegedly overcharging hundreds of vulnerable Victorians by failing to apply relevant concessions to customer’s bills.
Momentum Energy has apologised for the mistakes which led to some customers not receiving their concession payments.
The ESC issued 60 penalty notices of $15,000 each in relation to Momentum Energy failing to notify customers within ten business days of becoming aware that it had overcharged them by $50 or more.
“We got it wrong and we let down some of our most vulnerable customers,” Momentum Energy Managing Director, Amy Childs, said.
“We take full responsibility for our mistakes, we apologise to the customers affected and we have rectified the underlying issues.
“Although we notified the ESC of the problem, we were too slow in notifying the affected customers. We will learn from this incident to ensure we can avoid errors of this kind in the future.”
Ms Childs said the problem was a historical one and changes to processes and systems had already been put in place.
Following a major upgrade of Momentum Energy’s Customer Relationship Management system, concessions were not correctly applied to new customers or to customers with changed concession details. The error was discovered in March 2018.
Momentum Energy notified the ESC of the issue, but customers were not notified within the required ten business days.
Momentum Energy has already applied a credit to all 2585 affected customers. This number includes 340 former customers who are no longer with Momentum, who are yet to receive a refund and may not be aware the credit is available to them. The average outstanding amount for these 340 former customers is $69.30.
The company has entered into an enforceable undertaking with the ESC to take further steps to contact these former customers.