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A woman wearing a CPAP machine sleeps.

The National Energy Retails Rules have changed. To reduce the barriers for people who need life support. The changes improve the process when you change address or energy suppliers. Read on to find out what the new rules will mean for people needing life support.

Customers reliant on life support equipment such as -

  • Kidney dialysis machines
  • CPAP Chronic Positive Airway Pressure Respirator
  • BPAP or BiPAP BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure Respirator
  • Ventilator for life support

Will soon find it easier and cheaper to shop around for better energy deals.

The change began on 1st August 2021.

New rules

Under the new rules life support customers can:

  • Receive and re-use their medical documents needed when switching energy providers. The date of the medical confirmation must be less than 4 years ago and be legible, to be valid.

The rule will reduce costs for life support customers when compared to current rules. The new rule allows customers to re-use their existing valid medical confirmation for life support registration. As a result, life support customers should be able to switch at a lower cost.

The change allows better market choice through access to competition. This makes the process of switching retailers simpler.

The key features of the new rules consist of:

  • The right for customers to re-use valid medical confirmations. Documents provided to the outgoing retailer or distributor to provide medical confirmation to the incoming retailer or distributor.

  • A necessity for the incoming provider to inform the customer they may re-use a valid medical confirmation supplied to their previous retailer. To register their address with the new retailer or distributor.

  • A need for the outgoing retailer or distributor to return the medical confirmation within 15 business days. This is within 15 days of the customer's request (subject to privacy legislation). This is binding if the request occurs within 110 business days of the person ceasing to be a customer for the nominated premises.

  • A need for retailers or distributors to keep medical confirmation for
    • the time the person remains a customer for the nominated premises and
    • for 110 business days after the person has ceased to be a customer for the nominated premises.

  • A revised definition of 'medical confirmation'. To clarify that a medical certificate can support medical confirmation.



Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON)

In June 2020 EWON put forward a request to amend the National Energy Retail Rules. Costs related to getting a new medical certificate each time

  • a customer changes address or
  • a customer changes retailer

May discourage life support customers from switching retailers.

EWON proposed that:

Outgoing retailers or distributors share relevant medical information with the new retailer or distributor. This has supported the change in rules that apply from 1st August 2021.


Information sourced from

Maintaining life support customer registration

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