(cf section 96 of Electricity Supply Act 1995)(1) A small retail customer may apply to a supplier for a review of a decision of the supplier in relation to any matter arising under a customer supply contract or any other matter prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this subsection.(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a person may apply to a supplier for a review of a decision of the supplier to classify the person as being or as not being a small retail customer.(3) The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following matters:(a) the procedures for making an application and for dealing with an application that are to be contained in standard form customer supply contracts,(b) imposing conditions on suppliers’ authorisations relating to the provision and implementation of procedures for dealing with an application.(4) The regulations may treat a failure to make a decision within a specified period as a decision of a particular kind.(5) An application made and dealt with under this section is to be free of charge to the applicant.
(cf section 96A of Electricity Supply Act 1995)(1) A small retail customer, and any other person of a class prescribed by the regulations, may apply to the gas industry ombudsman under an approved gas industry ombudsman scheme for review of a decision in a dispute or complaint to which the scheme relates.(2) Except as provided by the scheme or by the regulations, a person does not have a right of review under this section in respect of a decision for which a review may be sought under section 33E unless the decision has been the subject of review under that section.(3) A review under this section is to be free of charge to small retail customers and to other persons of such classes as are prescribed by the regulations.(4) This section does not affect any jurisdiction that the Fair Trading Tribunal has under the Consumer Claims Act 1998 or the Residential Tribunal has under the Residential Tribunal Act 1998.(5) The gas industry ombudsman may decline to deal with a matter if it has been, is being or should be dealt with by another person or tribunal or there are, in the ombudsman’s opinion, not sufficient grounds for further investigation.(6) Without limiting subsection (5), the gas industry ombudsman may deal with a matter by making arrangements for it to be referred to another person or tribunal.
(cf section 96B of Electricity Supply Act 1995)(1) The Minister may approve a gas industry ombudsman scheme for the purposes of this Act, being a scheme that provides for the appointment of a gas industry ombudsman to deal with:(a) disputes and complaints under customer supply contracts entered into with small retail customers, and(b) disputes between small retail customers and gas marketers (within the meaning of Division 5) and complaints by small retail customers about gas marketers, and(b1) disputes between small retail customers and reticulators and complaints by small retail customers about reticulators, and(c) any other disputes and complaints of such classes (whether or not under contracts referred to in paragraph (a)) as are prescribed by the regulations.(2) Before approving such a scheme, the Minister must be satisfied that the scheme meets the following objectives:(a) that all suppliers and reticulators who are required to be members of the scheme are members of the scheme, have agreed to be bound by decisions of the gas industry ombudsman under the scheme and, as members, are so bound,(b) that the scheme has satisfactory arrangements in place to deal with all disputes and complaints referred to in subsection (1),(c) that the gas industry ombudsman will be able to operate independently of all suppliers and reticulators in exercising functions under the scheme,(d) that the scheme will be accessible to small retail customers and other customers prescribed by the regulations,(e) that membership of the scheme will be accessible to all potential members and will provide appropriate representation for all members in relation to the scheme’s governing body,(f) that, without limiting any other application of the scheme, the scheme will apply to all disputes and complaints arising under customer supply contracts relating to small retail customers,(g) that the scheme will operate expeditiously and without cost to small retail customers and to other persons of such classes as are prescribed by the regulations,(h) that the scheme will allow customers to choose whether or not they wish to be bound by determinations under the scheme,(i) that the scheme will satisfy best practice benchmarks for schemes of a similar kind, both in terms of its constitution and procedure and in terms of its day to day operations,(j) that the scheme will provide for a monetary limit on claims covered by the scheme of an amount or amounts approved by the Minister,(k) that the scheme will maintain the capacity of the gas industry ombudsman, where appropriate, to refer disputes or complaints to other forums,(l) that the scheme will require the gas industry ombudsman to inform the Minister of substantial breaches of authorisation conditions, the Marketing Code of Conduct (within the meaning of Division 5) or of the Act of which the ombudsman becomes aware,(m) such other objectives as are prescribed by the regulations.(3) A scheme may treat a failure to make a decision within a specified period as a decision of a particular kind.(4) The Minister may at any time revoke an approval under this section.(5) If a dispute or complaint involving a gas marketer (within the meaning of Division 5) or person other than a supplier or reticulator is prescribed as a dispute or complaint to which an approved scheme may apply, the regulations may make it an offence for the gas marketer or person to fail to comply with a decision of the gas industry ombudsman under the scheme.(6) Notice of any approval given by the Minister under this section, and of the revocation of any such approval, is to be published in the Gazette.(7) Subject to this section, the same scheme may be approved for the purposes of both this Act and any other Act or law.
(cf section 96C of Electricity Supply Act 1995)(1) It is a condition of a reticulator’s authorisation and of any supplier’s authorisation under which a supplier supplies natural gas to small retail customers that:(a) the authorisation holder must be a member of an approved gas industry ombudsman scheme, and(b) the authorisation holder is bound by, and must comply with, any decision of the gas industry ombudsman under the scheme relating to a dispute or complaint involving the authorisation holder and a small retail customer.(2) This section does not apply in respect of an authorised reticulator if the authorised reticulator is exempt from the requirement to be a member of an approved gas industry ombudsman scheme.(3) The Minister may, by order in writing, exempt an authorised reticulator from the requirement to be a member of an approved gas industry ombudsman scheme if of the opinion that the authorised reticulator is not currently engaging in any activities for which an authorisation is required.
(cf section 96D of Electricity Supply Act 1995)Nothing in this Act prevents provision being made in negotiated customer supply contracts for the resolution of disputes with persons not covered by either or both of sections 33E and 33F.