Aurora Energy has launched its family and domestic violence policy, providing further protections and support for Tasmanians experiencing family violence.
According to CEO Nigel Clark, Aurora’s policy is designed to support Tasmanians experiencing domestic violence, including family violence and elder abuse resulting in energy affordability issues.
“Aurora Energy is passionate about providing quality services and support to all our customers, particularly when they need it most,” Mr Clark said.
“Our nationally-recognised Your Energy Support (YES) program has been lending a hand to those in need for almost a decade.
“This commitment to supporting our customers experiencing vulnerable circumstances is reinforced by the voluntary establishment of a family and domestic violence policy to support customers impacted in these types of situations.”
TasCOSS welcomes the release of Aurora’s family and domestic violence policy and acknowledges it was developed independent from, and in advance of, the work undertaken by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to require energy retailers to set out how they will support and protect customers experiencing family violence. Under new rules to take effect from 1 May 2023, when dealing with customers affected by family violence energy retailers must:
- Have regard firstly to the safety of an affected customer in any dealing they have with them;
- Not disclose confidential information about an affected customer to another person (and must require their contractors and agents not to disclose this information) without the customer’s consent;
- Provide a secure process to identify affected customers and minimise the need for them to repeatedly disclose their experiences;
- Not require documentary evidence in order to offer protection;
- Ensure staff can identify, assist and engage appropriately and effectively with customers affected by family violence;
- Adopt, publish and comply with a comprehensive family violence policy; and
- Consider family violence as likely to cause payment difficulties and hardship, meaning affected customers may also qualify for other forms of assistance.
Aurora’s policy provides additional protections for energy customers affected by family violence beyond that outlined in the AEMC’s rule change. Aurora has utilised input and feedback from stakeholders, including from customer advocates such as Anglicare Tasmania and Council on the Ageing (COTA) Tasmania, over the past year to help inform the development of its policy. Training has been rolled out to frontline staff, including how to identify customers experiencing family and domestic violence and the treatment of immediate risk scenarios.
To find out more about Aurora’s policy, please visit auroraenergy.com.au/family-domestic-violence-help.