The Energy Charter is a whole-of-sector initiative to address customer expectations.
The last 12 months have been extremely challenging for our customers, communities and the economy with bushfires, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic. It has equally challenged the way our teams work, stay connected and run our business.
I am proud that our teams have kept the needs of our most vulnerable customers front of mind and made sure we maintain a reliable supply of electricity, natural gas and LPG to our millions of customers. We have supported those customers in hardship as a result of COVID-19, moving ahead of regulatory decrees to protect residential and small business customers in financial stress from disconnection or default listing and providing payment relief for those in need. We are continuing to support customers through these additional measures alongside our hardship program.
We have made strong progress against the Energy Charter principles and the areas for improvement we identified in our inaugural disclosure statement. The events of this year have underscored the importance of lifting trust, reducing our costs and creating a superior customer experience by transforming our operating model, capabilities and culture.
We are pleased to have announced gas and electricity price reductions from July 2020 for customers in most jurisdictions. Origin has also made it easier for customers to take up market offers and discounts ensuring that none of our electricity customers on a flat rate tariff paid more than the Commonwealth Default Market Offer or Victorian Default Offer in FY2020.1
This year we committed to making a step change in our capability to improve the customer experience. We have invested in Octopus, a UK best-in-class energy retailer, and will adopt its globally distinctive operating model and proprietary ‘Kraken’ IT platform to deliver a superior customer experience. Over the next year, we will run the phased migration of customers to our new operating model, while we continue to embed a customer-centric approach across our business.
We continue to drive the transition to a decarbonised, decentralised and increasingly digital future. We have increased our contracted renewable supply, created options for future investment in firming generation capacity and made it easier for customers to understand and control their consumption.
The principles of the Energy Charter align with Origin’s purpose of getting energy right for our customers, communities and planet.
Chief Executive Officer
1 Origin ensured electricity bills after discounts for small market customers on flat tariffs were less than the DMO/VDO in FY2020. Where customers’ bills were deemed higher than the DMO, Origin took proactive steps in adjusting those offers below the DMO/VDO. Price changes for each jurisdiction in FY2021 are set out in our commentary in Principle 2.