New national energy laws have allowed the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to implement stronger penalties to incentivise compliance with laws and protect electricity and gas consumers.
In the most serious cases, the AER will be able to seek penalties of up to $10 million (or more for large companies) for alleged breaches of the energy laws under new provisions commencing today. There are three tiers of penalty provisions, reflecting three levels of severity of breaches.
Other key changes to the AER’s powers under the new laws include the ability to:
- Require witnesses to attend for oral examination during investigations
- Seek court orders requiring compliance with compulsory notices to provide information or documents
- Seek orders that a person who has breached certain provisions of the National Energy Laws to perform a service for the benefit of the community or publish an advertisement about the breach
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