It has been revealed that energy retailer Lumo Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Lumo) has paid a penalty of $10,800 after being issued with an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC).
The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Lumo had contravened the Australian Consumer Law [the ACL is contained in Sch 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)] by making a false or misleading representation about energy discounts.
Lumo made a representation on its website in February 2017 that consumers (including those outside of Victoria) could save 33 per cent off their total electricity bill and 17 per cent off their total gas bill if they switched to Lumo.
These discounts were only available to residents of Victoria. Maximum discounts for electricity were substantially less in other states. In addition, Lumo does not offer gas outside Victoria.
The ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said of the current action:
“Discounted energy plans are very attractive to many Australians who are trying to reduce their energy bills. It is vitally important that any representations made to consumers about discounts are accurate and relevant to them, so that people can make informed decisions about their choice of energy retailer and feel confident in those choices. Consumer confidence can lead to increased switching between retailers, and better competition within the energy market as a whole.”
In a statement Lumo Energy said:
In February 2017, Lumo Energy also paid penalties when call centre staff allegedly told customers that the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) was responsible for gas price increases, when in fact the rise was due to a commercial decision by Lumo.
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Lumo Energy pays penalty for alleged energy offer misrepresentations –
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