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Forum’s customer and stakeholder engagements

Source: Customer Forum Interim Engagement Report, 6 February 2019

Customer meetings

Residential customers

Who 

Location 

 Date

Mondo solar customer (n=1), middle aged empty nesters with semi-rural property, talked about their experience with solar and feeding back into the grid

Yackandandah on site at customer’s home

15 Aug 2018

Mondo solar customers (n=2), retired couple in modern urban home, talked about their experience with solar and feeding back into the grid

Yackandandah on site at customer’s home

15 Aug 2018

Mondo solar customer (n=1), single woman working from home, cost and environmentally conscious, closely monitors electricity use, talked about their experience with solar and feeding back into the grid

Yackandandah on site at customer’s home

15 Aug 2018

Rural family with young children, recently built a new home, learnt about their new connection to rural property experience, talked about their experience with solar and feeding back into the grid

Foster (phone interview)

5 Sep 2018

Rural customer who had equipment damaged as a result of an unplanned outage and lodged a claim with AusNet Services, learnt about their experience applying for compensation (by phone)

Foster (phone interview)

5 Sep 2018

Residents of Healesville (n=4 over three interviews) who were the victims of a significant AusNet Services unplanned outage, that has resulted in significant angst for these customers over compensation for appliances that were destroyed

Healesville

16 Aug 2018

Business customers

Business 

Location 

 Date

Fruit and vegetable retailer, spoke of impacts on her trade when planned outages were organised, and no opportunity to negotiate outage days to minimise adverse impacts on local traders, offensive customer service from AusNet Services when she contacted them, issues on her home property about AusNet Service tree pruning and lack of professionalism (“cowboy mentality”) shown to her by the contractors

Benalla

14 Aug 2018

Dairy farmer, central Victoria spoke of his use of electricity and potential impacts if an outage occurred

Wangaratta MPs office

14 Aug 2018

Rutherglen accommodation owner/operator, spoke about the cost of electricity and impacts on the business if an outage occurred

Rutherglen

15 Aug 2018

Rutherglen winemaker spoke of her use of electricity and potential impacts if an outage occurred

Rutherglen

15 Aug 2018

Aged Care, Wodonga, CEO of newly built retirement village and aged care facility with 301 residents, large user with generator to mitigate risk of outages, also in fire prone area

Wodonga

15 Aug 2018

Alexandra accommodation operator and café owner (also lives on a rural property with solar), spoke of general experiences dealing with AusNet Services

Alexandra

15 Aug 2018

School principal whose school was impacted by a significant AusNet Services unplanned outage, that destroyed air-conditioning and other equipment, spoke of the challenges trying to obtain compensation for appliances that were destroyed

Healesville

15 Aug 2018

Café operator and catering business operating, employs a small team of permanent staff, committed to ethical employment with big impacts on his business when AusNet Services schedules outages and he still has to pay staff

Wesburn

15 Aug 2018

General practice, practice owner and his manager described the impact that outages have on their practice about sterilisation procedures and storage of vaccines, the practice has installed a generator to counter the effects of an unreliable electricity supply

Warburton

15 Aug 2018

Warburton traders, small group of local traders discussing the impact of planned outages on their town, and AusNet Services’ practice of working with these customers to plan outages to minimise inconvenience to trade

Warburton

15 Aug 2018

Olive@Loch Café. General discussion with proprietor

Loch

30 Aug 2018

Middle Hotel, Leongatha. General discussion with proprietor

Leongatha

30 Aug 2018

Lyrebird Café & Resort. General discussion with proprietor

Balook

17 Sep 2018

Exxon Mobil Longford. Inspection of the plant and discussion about a range of supply issues for a major electricity consumer

Longford

17 Sep 2018

Marathon Electrical. Discussion with owner and office manager about protracted delays in securing new connections as well as the consequences these delays have on business cash flows for smaller contractors.

Sale

17 Sep 2018

Maffra Cheese Company. Discussion with proprietor of her decision to invest heavily in PV as well as the sensitivity of dairy manufacturing processes to supply interruptions.

Maffra

18 Sep 2018

Macalister Demonstration Farm. Discussion with Chairman about dairy industry electricity supply issues including the herd productivity and OHS impacts of supply interruptions.

Riverslea

18 Sep 2018

Dairy processor. Discussion about supply reliability

Gippsland

18 Sep 2018

G J Gardner Homes. Discussion with office staff about protracted delays in new connections

Bairnsdale

19 Sep 2018

Simmonds Homes. Discussion with office staff about protracted delays in new connections

Bairnsdale

19 Sep 2018

Australian Sustainable Hardwood. Discussion with Managing Director and staff about impact of supply interruptions and slow distributor response time.

Heyfield

19 Sep 2018

Master Builders Association of Victoria members. Discussion about protracted new connection delays and consequences of delay.

Wodonga

16 Oct 2018

Strathbogie General Store. General discussion with staff

Strathbogie

16 Oct 2018

Poultry producer. General discussion with business owner

Lang Lang

19 Dec 2018

Australian Sustainable Hardwood. General discussion with AusNet Services Managing Director and Executive General Manager Regulated Business

Heyfield

20 Dec 2018

Marathon Electrical. General discussion with owner , office manager and investors with AusNet Services Managing Director and Executive General Manager Regulated Business

Sale

20 Dec 2018

Customer representative groups

Group 

Location 

 Date

Benalla Businesses Network, four BBN representatives of retail and commercial businesses in Rural City of Benalla

Benalla

14 Aug 2018

Women’s Health Wangaratta, CEO, discussion from financial counselling perspective, representing vulnerable customers (especially females escaping family violence)

Wangaratta

14 Aug 2018

Rutherglen Tourist Office representing tourism in the town, discussed the impact of planned outages without any consultation with the community

Rutherglen

15 Aug 2018

Customer sessions observed by the Customer Forum

Group observed 

Location 

 Date

Newgate Research Group 1 Outer Melbourne customers, generally low income, one public housing, one solar (n=8)

Lilydale

19 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 2 Outer Melbourne customers, most employed, one business operator, 2 solar (n=6)

Lilydale

19 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 4 Bass Coast, Phillip Island customers, mix of generally low income/retired permanent residents (n~7)

Cowes

20 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 7 Benalla region customers, generally low income/retired (n~8)

Benalla

20 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 8 Benalla region customers, employed some on acreage outside town, some with solar (n=8)

Benalla

20 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 5 East Gippsland customers, Sale and district, employed including farming, mix home owners & renting (n=6)

Sale

21 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 6 East Gippsland customers, Sale and district, employed, mix home owners & renting,3 solar (n=7)

Sale

21 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 9 Alpine Shire customers (Bright, Myrtleford, Porepunkah, Fribourg), all employed some on acreage with solar panels (n=8)

Bright

21 Jul 2018

Newgate Research Group 10 Alpine Shire customers (Bright, Myrtleford, Porepunkah, Fribourg), all employed, some renting, one business operator (n=5)

Bright

21 Jul 2018

AusNet Services organised Chiltern customer meeting (n~10)

Chiltern

14 Aug 2018

AusNet Services organised Clyde North customer meeting (n=3)

Clyde North

15 Aug 2018

Stakeholder meetings organised by the Customer Forum

Members of Parliament

MP 

Location 

 Date

Cindy McLeish MP Member for Eildon

Warburton

23 July 2018

Peter Crisp MP Member for Mildura

Melbourne

23 July 2018

Tim McCurdy MP Member for Ovens

Wangaratta

23 July 2018

Stephanie Ryan MP Member for Euroa

Melbourne

23 July 2018

Russell Northe MP Member for Morwell

Melbourne

9 Aug 2018

Gary Blackwood MP Member for Narracan

Melbourne

9 Aug 2018

Danielle Green MP Member for Yan Yean

Melbourne

9 Aug 2018

Local government

Council 

Location 

 Date

Alpine Shire Council

Bright

18 Jul 2018

Bass Coast Shire Council

Wonthaggi

2 Aug 2018

Cardinia Shire Council

Cranbourne

30 Aug 2018

Latrobe City Council

Morwell

2 Aug 2018

Murrindindi Shire Council

Alexandra

15 Aug 2018

Wellington Shire Council

Sale

18 Sep 2018

Peak body consultations

Organisation 

Location 

 Date

St Vincent de Paul & AER Customer Consultative Committee

Melbourne

Jun2018

Energy Innovation Co-operative

Leongatha

2 Aug 2018

Energy Australia

Melbourne

16 Aug 2018

Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action

Melbourne

29 Aug 2018

Consumer Action Law Centre

Melbourne

31 Aug 2018

Financial Counselling Australia

Melbourne

31 Aug 2018

Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Melbourne

5 Sep 2018

Council of Small Business Organisations Australia

By phone

5 Sep 2018

Business Council of Australia

Melbourne

5 Sep 2018

Essential Services Commission

Melbourne

Oct 2018

Meetings organised by AusNet Services

Organisation 

Location 

 Date

Workshop with AusNet Services Customer Consultative committee to agree working relationship

Melbourne

27 Mar 2018

Public Forum with consumer advocates (including representatives from Victorian Council of Social Services, Energy Users Association, Brotherhood of St Laurence), staff from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, AER Consumer Challenge Panel members to introduce the Customer Forum, present forward plan and discuss scope of negotiations

Melbourne

13 Apr 2018

Meeting with Energy and Water Ombudsman of Victoria on key areas of customer complaints

Melbourne

17 Apr 2018

Meeting with Energy Users' Association of Australia to gain insight into issues affecting large energy users

Melbourne

24 Aug 2018

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Melbourne

9 Sep 2018

Workshop with AusNet Services Customer Consultative committee to discuss negotiations

Melbourne

25 Sep 2018

Workshop with various vulnerable customer advocates from the including Victorian Council of Social Services Utilities Group to test negotiating positions

Melbourne

11 Oct 2018

Workshop with customer advocates including representatives from St Vincent de Paul Society, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and South Australian Council of Social Services to test negotiating positions

Melbourne

18 Oct 2018

Workshop with Energy Users Association and Major Energy Users to test negotiating positions

Melbourne

19 Oct 2018

Workshop with Renew, Clean Energy Council of Australia, Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action

Melbourne

29 Oct 2018

Other meetings

Meetings with AER Consumer Challenge Panel

Meeting 

Location 

 Date

Face to face AER Melbourne

Melbourne

24 Jul 2018

Face to face AER Melbourne

Melbourne

25 Sep 2018

Phone conference

Melbourne/ interstate

5 Oct 2018