NSW bans paper fees on energy bills

NSW bans paper fees on energy bills
Keep Me Posted says big step forward, and proof the fees are not destined to remain
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is banning energy retailers from charging for paper billing fees, as part of an energy bill relief package.
Banning charges for paper bills is a win for printers, with more people now likely to take paper bills now they are free. The big utilities, telcos and financial houses brought charges in for bills as part of a drive to make people receive their bills online, thus saving themselves the costs of print and mail.
Don Harwin, Minister for Energy and Utilities says energy retailers will be forced to scrap early termination fees, paper bill fees, and fees for paying over the counter at Australia Post.
While it is unclear how many NSW residents receive paper bills for their power, with a state population of 7.7 million people, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people stand to benefit.
Keep Me Posted explains, “Companies are secretive when it comes to disclosing exact numbers around those receiving paper bills. However, every NSW resident is an energy consumer so it is every NSW household which is going to be positively affected by the ban on paper fees. Paper communication recipients will not have to pay the fees anymore and other consumers will be able to return back to paper which they had abandoned under the pressure of the fee.
“We hope that NSW’s example will set a precedent. We will urge other States to implement similar bans on paper fees and we will ask companies in other sectors (banks, telcos, other utilities) to act quickly and not wait for Treasury’s decision to abandon fees on paper communications.”
Kellie Northwood, executive director, Keep Me Posted says, “This is a powerful step forward for NSW constumers and we praise the NSW State Government for their leadership. Australian consumers’ voices have been head and the NSW Government has acted quickly to tackle unfair fees.”
Keep Me Posted has been and supported by the PIAA while campaigning heavily against the excessive paper bill fees, and the print association welcomes the announcement.
Andrew Macaulay, CEO, Printing Industries, says, “It is terrific news, and we are very happy as supporters of the campaign. We are delighted with that progress.
“I think you are going to see a higher demand from people that prefer a printed invoice and statement. There are demographics who quite clearly prefer that.
“From the printing perspective we are happy to see the potential for more business, but for consumers that do not have access to the internet, older and marginalised Australians, it is a social justice issue. So on both accounts we are pleased to see it.”
The announcement comes shortly after the Consumer Affairs Forum held on 31 August, in which the national Treasury agreed to look into paper bill fees.
Source: Australian Printer

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