Know your rights
You have a specific guarantee of acceptable quality for the supply of electricity and reticulated gas, ie piped gas, supplied by a retailer under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).
This guarantee applies instead of the general CGA guarantees that apply to products and services.
The guarantee means:
- the supply should be as safe and reliable as a reasonable consumer would expect it to be
- the quality of gas or electricity supplied must be such that it can be consistently used for things that a reasonable consumer would expect to use gas or electricity for.
If this guarantee of acceptable quality is breached, you can get your energy retailer to sort the problem sorted.
If you find your gas or electricity supply has suddenly stopped, check with your supplier or the network operator. There may be a fault in your area because of a power cut or maintenance work. Your supplier or the network operator will explain the details to you.
Read Faulty or unsatisfactory services to find out more.
If your provider has disconnected your supply, read the following information covering your rights with disconnection.
If you haven’t paid your bill, you usually have about 48 days before your power is disconnected.
You need to contact your retailer before this date to discuss payment options.
Contact your retailer early to discuss payment options if you are behind with your payments.
Before disconnecting your power, electricity or gas, retailers must:
- make sure disconnection notices include their complaints process, contact details, and any applicable fees
- give you a range of ways and times to get in touch with them, such as calls, texts, faxes, and home visits
- discuss payment alternatives
- liaise with Work and Income if you are a beneficiary
- make sure no one living at the property is medically dependent.
Read What are my rights around disconnections (external link) on the Electricity Authority website to find out more.
Vulnerable or medically dependent consumers
The Electricity Authority enforces two Government guidelines to assist medically dependent and vulnerable consumers (external link) . Tell your electricity and gas company immediately if:
- you’re medically dependent and rely on mains electricity for critical medical support
- due to your age, health or disability, having your electricity or gas disconnected would endanger your health or well-being (vulnerable consumers)
- you can’t pay your bills because of financial hardship.
Your electricity and gas bills may be a large part of your monthly budget, but you can make big savings by following a few simple steps to help reduce the amount of gas and electricity you use.
For energy-saving tips, see At home (external link) on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s website.