EWOSA News - January 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of the Energy and Water Ombudsman SA (EWOSA) quarterly newsletter: your one stop shop for emerging consumer trends, hot issues and policy matters.

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From the Ombudsman

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2021, a special edition primarily focused on insights from our data sources. [click + for more]

I write as Australia and the world continue to wrestle with the impact of COVID-19, and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) recently reported on rising debt levels and the impact the pandemic has had on the ability of households and small businesses to pay for essential services such as electricity and gas.

This aligns with our experience, as rising debt levels of some customers is an issue of significant concern for our Scheme.

Despite this, cases within our Scheme about issues relating to hardship and disconnections continue to be at relatively low levels. In December we received 63 credit management cases, compared with 102 in December 2019.

We have welcomed a determined effort by many energy and water providers to provide enhanced dispute resolution to their customers, which is resulting in a higher number of cases being resolved before they reach our Scheme.

Overall, cases received in the last quarter were lower than those at the same time in the previous year (1799 cases compared with 2324).

We continue to track these cases for both energy and water, including reporting on them to the AER and the Essential Services Commission of South Australia on a regular basis.

The AER introduced a Statement of Expectations at the onset of the pandemic to address the issues surrounding anticipated payment difficulties for an increased number of customers. This Statement has been revised three times and the current version is due to expire at the end of March 2021. We expect that the issue of debt levels will feature in future considerations about next steps.

As always, we are here to help. Please contact us on 1800 665 565 or via our website if you need assistance.

Sandy Canale

Energy and Water Ombudsman SA

Consumer Trends 1

Top Five Issues During The Quarter Jan 21
1 October - 31 December 2020

Consumer Trends 2

Cases Received Over The Last Five Quarters  Jan 21
Cases received over the last five quarters

Consumer Trends 4

Cases per 10,000 customers


The number of cases per 10,000 customers for each supplier is calculated by dividing the number of cases received during the quarter by the total number of customers for each supplier, multiplied by 10,000. Large Suppliers are those with over 100,000 customers, Medium-sized Suppliers have between 10,000 and 100,000 customers, Small Suppliers have between 1,000 and 10,000 customers and Very Small Suppliers have less than 1,000 customers. The total number of cases is also presented for context.

Electricity cases


Gas cases


Water cases


Remember, we are here to help

EWOSA facilitates the prompt resolution of complaints and disputes between consumers of electricity, gas and water services and Members of the Scheme by providing a service to consumers which is free, independent, accessible, fair and informal.

Freecall 1800 665 565

Submit a complaint

SMS 0488 854 555

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