The Energy Charter - Insights by Gabby Sundstrom

The energy market is complex. For everyday customers understanding and even caring about the difference between generators, suppliers and retailers is a mute point. Energy is an essential service, it underpins our ability to thrive; enabling our thermal comfort, allowing us to cook, access technology and entertainment, clean our homes and clothes and even power our cars. 

The Energy Charter - Insights by Gabby Sundstrom

Given it’s importance in modern day society, the community expects that the industry can provide energy in a manner that is accessible, sustainable, priced fairly, and that it can meet individual needs in it’s provision of service. For this expectation to be met, an acknowledgement that each part of the energy supply chain can individually contribute to these outcomes and the public and consumer sentiment around the sector needs to occur. So, it was fantastic to see members from across the supply chain coming together to develop and commit to The Energy Charter. A set of 5 principles aimed at progressing the culture and solutions provided by industry so they align with community expectations.

Launched on 31st January, The Energy Charter is the first time that all parts of the energy supply chain have come together to help deliver a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for all Australians. Supported by Energy Consumers Australia, with additional consulting provided by many consumer advocates, the development of this Charter is a strong example of how organisations, with seemingly different views and priorities, can find common ground and responsibility when it comes to broader societal impact. And, how when we work together, our ability for impact is strengthened.

The Principles of the Charter are:

  1. We will put customers at the centre of our business and the energy system
  2. We will improve energy affordability for customers
  3. We will provide energy, safely, sustainably and reliably
  4. We will improve customer experience
  5. We will support customers facing vulnerable circumstances

Demonstrating that the charter is outcome driven, each principle is supported by a set of actions that can be flexibly applied across the supply chain. Each organisation that signs up to the Charter will produce an annual report to publicly account for how they are delivering against the principles. This framework is accompanied by a continuous improvement mindset, acknowledging that it is an ever evolving journey to maintain community expectations.

A focus and acknowledgement on the customer by the whole energy system has the potential to create systemic change. We’re thrilled to see our Founding Partners at AGL, Energy Australia, Energy Queensland and Origin play such a leading role in helping to create and signing on to be part of the Charter. We’re looking forward to seeing the improved outcomes the energy sector can achieve.

Gabby Sundstrom, Thriving Communities Partnership

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