The legal bits

Market Contract T&Cs

UPDATED ON: 03.12.2019

Preamble

This contract is a market retail contract. This contract governs the sale of electricity or gas to you at your premises.

This contract does not cover the physical connection of your premises to the distribution system, including the maintenance of that connection and the supply of energy to your premises and, where we sell you gas, provision of metering equipment. This is the role of your distributor under a separate contract called a customer connection contract, which can be found on your distributor's website. Except, if you are in Victoria, there are no gas connection contracts.

In addition to this contract, the energy laws and other consumer laws also contain rules about the sale of energy to small customers and we will comply with these rules in our dealings with you. For example, the National Energy Retail Law and the National Energy Retail Rules (the Rules) set out specific rights and obligations about energy marketing, payment methods and arrangements for customers experiencing payment difficulties.

For more information about this contract and other matters, visit our website at www.ovoenergy.com.au.

Operative provisions

  1. The parties

    This contract is between:

    1. OVO Energy Pty Ltd (ABN 99 623 475 089) who sells energy to you at your premises (in this contract referred to as "we", "our" or "us"); and

    2. You, the customer to whom this contract applies (in this contract referred to as "you", "your" or "Customer").

  2. Definitions and interpretation

    1. Terms used in this contract have the same meaning as they have in the National Energy Retail Law and the Rules. However, for ease of reference, a simplified explanation of some terms used in this contract is given at the end of this contract.

    2. Where the simplified explanations given at the end of this contract differ from the definitions in the National Energy Retail Law and the Rules, the definitions in the National Energy Retail Law and the Rules will prevail.

    3. Definitions of the italicised terms used in this contract are also given at the end of this contract.

  3. Do these terms and conditions apply to you?

    1. Application of these terms and conditions

      1. These terms and conditions apply to you if:

        1. you are:

          1. a residential customer; or

          2. a business customer who is a small customer;

        2. you request us to sell energy to you at your premises; and

        3. you have accepted these terms and conditions for us to supply energy to you.

      2. You must notify us if you cease to be a small customer at the premises or if you anticipate that you will cease to be a small customer at the premises.

      3. If clause 3.1(b) applies or we reasonably believe that you are no longer, or will cease to be, a small customer, we may end this contract by giving you a notice that this contract is terminated.

    2. Electricity or gas

      These terms and conditions apply to electricity and gas, but some terms may be expressed to apply only to one or the other. If we are your retailer for both electricity and gas, you have a separate contract with us for electricity and for gas.

  4. What is the duration of this contract?

    1. When does this contract start?

      This contract starts when you accept our offer to sell energy to you. You can do this by agreeing to these terms and conditions online at: www.ovoenergy.com.au

    2. Cooling-off period

      1. You can cancel this contract during the business day cooling-off period, even though you have agreed to or accepted this contract. The cooling-off period starts from the later of the day after:

        1. you accept this contract; or

        2. you receive this contract (including the terms and conditions and privacy policy).

      2. You can cancel this contract within the cooling-off period by calling us or asking us to cancel in writing.

      3. If you cancel this contract during the cooling-off period, we will create and retain a record of the cancellation in accordance with applicable legal requirements.

    3. Credit checks

      1. Before we start supplying energy to you, we may run a credit check and the result of this credit check may mean you are not eligible to switch to us as your retailer.

      2. During your contract with us, we look at any information on you that we have, and we may share your personal information with credit reference agencies and/or fraud prevention agencies.

      3. We may apply to a credit reference agency for information on all named customers on an account.

      4. If you have named another person on your account, you must make sure they know we may perform a credit check on them.

      5. Information supplied to us may be used to:

        1. verify your identity;

        2. make decisions on credit and credit-related services that we may provide to you, your partner or other members of your household, other named customers on an account, or your business (including the appropriate payment method);

        3. use scoring methods to assess your application and help us choose what plan and payment method is right for you;

        4. prevent crime, fraud and money laundering;

        5. check the operation of your credit-related accounts;

        6. manage your personal, your partner's and/or business (if you have one) credit or credit-related account or other facilities by the credit reference agency;

        7. trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe; and

        8. undertake statistical analysis and testing, which could include personal details and your energy use. This could be used to create personal profiles (see our privacy policy: www.ovoenergy.com.au/privacy-policy.

      6. Information supplied to us will stay on your credit checking history (a footprint) whether you join us or not. It may also affect your credit rating.

      7. Based on your credit check, we may decide not to start supplying energy to you and end this contract or we may ask you for a security deposit.

      8. If you fail to pay us any money you owe, this information may be passed to credit reference agencies and/or fraud prevention agencies.

      9. The credit reference agencies keep records for six years after:

        1. your account has been closed;

        2. you pay the debt; or

        3. someone takes action against you to recover the debt.

      10. Your data will not be used to create a blacklist.

      11. You can contact credit reference agencies currently operating in Australia if you wish to find out your credit score.

    4. Start of energy supply

      1. Although this contract starts when you accept our offer, we will only start selling energy to you when:

        1. your cooling-off period has expired;

        2. your premises are connected to the distribution network;

        3. if your premises are connected to the distribution system on the day you accept this contract, a meter read must take place after acceptance of the contract. This may be the next scheduled meter read (which might be 90 days after the day you accept this contract) or you may request an earlier special meter read (if you agree to pay the associated costs);

        4. all relevant metering equipment must be installed at the premises and, if required by us or your distributor, upgraded to meet applicable metering standards or regulatory requirements; and

        5. if you are transferring to us from another retailer, the transfer has been processed.

      2. If you are transferring to us from another retailer, you will be responsible for any relevant transfer costs (including special meter read fees) that may be charged by the retailer that you are transferring from.

    5. Your right to end this contract

      1. In addition to your right to cancel this contract under clause 4.2, you may end this contract at any time after the end of the cooling-off period by notifying us that you wish to end this contract.
    6. When this contract ends

      1. This contract ends:

        1. if clause 4.2 applies (Cooling-off period) - as set out in that clause;

        2. if clause 4.5 applies (Your right to end this contract) - as set out in that clause (whether or not you give us the necessary notifications under that clause); or

        3. if clause 4.3(g) applies (unsatisfactory credit check) - before we start supplying energy to you;

        4. if you give us a notice stating that you wish to end the contract - subject to clause 4.5(d), on a date advised by us of which we will give you at least 5 but no more than 20 business days' notice; or

        5. if you are no longer a small customer:

          1. subject to clause 4.5(d), on a date specified by us of which we will give you at least 5 but not more than 20 business days' notice; or

          2. if you have not told us of a change in the use of your energy - from the time of the change in use; or

        6. if you are remaining at your premises but wish your energy supply to be disconnected - this contract will end 10 business days after the date of disconnection as provided for in clause 4.5(c)(ix);

        7. if we both agree to a date to end the contract - on the date that is agreed;

        8. if you start an entirely new contract with us (rather than amend your existing contract with us) - this contract will end on a date we both agree;

        9. if you start to buy energy for the premises from a different retailer under a customer retail contract - on the date on which your assigned meter identifier has been transferred to your new retailer (which will usually happen on or soon after a final meter read at your premises);

        10. if you are moving out of your premises and your contract will not be continuing at your new premises - this contract will end on the date of the final meter read at the premises unless clause 4.7(d) applies;

        11. if a different customer starts to buy energy for the premises - on the date that customer's contract starts; or

        12. if the premises are disconnected and you have not met the requirements in the Rules for reconnection - 10 business days from the date of disconnection.

      2. If you do not give us safe and unhindered access to the premises to conduct a final meter reading (where relevant), this contract will not end under clauses 4.5(c)(iv) or 4.5(c)(v) until we have issued you a final bill and you have paid any outstanding amount for the sale of energy.

      c) Rights and obligations accrued before the end of this contract continue despite the end of this contract, including any obligations to pay amounts to us.

    7. Moving premises

      1. If you are moving premises, you may ask us to transfer this contract to your new premises.

      2. If you do so, we may offer to amend this contract by transferring this contract to your new premises. The notice of the offer will specify the tariffs and charges and other terms and conditions that will apply to this contract at your new premises.

      3. If you accept the offer, this contract will be amended in accordance with the notice and will continue on those terms. We may also require you to pay a connection or reconnection fee at your new premises.

      4. If you reject the offer, this contract will end under clause 4.5(b)(ii). We may also require you to pay a disconnection fee.

      5. If you are moving out of your premises, you must provide your forwarding address to us for your final bill under this contract.

    8. Final meter read at the premises

      1. You will need to notify us if:

        1. you want to start taking energy supply at your existing premises from another retailer; or

        2. you are moving out of your premises (whether or not you are transferring this contract for supply at your new premises); or

        3. you are remaining at your premises but wish your energy supply to be disconnected.

      2. In each of these circumstances, a final meter read must be taken at your existing premises. You can choose to wait for the next scheduled meter read or, if you want this to happen earlier, you can ask us to arrange a special meter read (in which case an additional fee will apply, unless we decide to waive it). If you are transferring your premises to another retailer and your new retailer arranges for a special meter read, we will not need to arrange it or charge you the additional fee.

      3. You must pay the energy charges for energy supply at your existing premises until and including the date of the final meter read, even if someone else used the energy.

      4. In addition, if you continue to take supply from us at your existing premises after the date of the final meter read (for example where we have not disconnected the premises, the premises have not been transferred to another retailer and you remain there) you will continue to be liable for tariffs and charges for that energy supply for as long as you continue to take supply.

    9. Exit fee

      1. If this contract ends after the cooling-off period and you are on a contract with fixed rate tariffs, we may charge you, in which case you must pay us an exit fee of $50 for each energy type (i.e. electricity or gas) we supply under the contract.

      2. We will not charge you an exit fee if the contract ends:

        1. because you move out your premises but you immediately enter into a new contract with us at your new premises;

        2. under clause 8.3(e); or

        3. under clause 24.

  5. Scope of this contract

    1. What is covered by this contract?

      1. Under this contract we agree to sell you energy at your premises. We also agree to meet other obligations set out in this contract and to comply with the energy laws, including, where we sell you electricity, the provision, installation and maintenance of your meter.

      2. In return, you agree:

        1. to be responsible for charges for energy supplied to the premises until this contract ends under clause 4.5 even if you move out of your premises earlier;

        2. to pay the amounts billed by us under this contract; and

        3. to meet your obligations under this contract and the energy laws.

  6. Your general obligations

    1. Full information

      You must give us any information we reasonably require for the purposes of this contract. The information must be correct, and you must not mislead or deceive us in relation to any information provided to us.

    2. Updating Information

      You must tell us promptly if any information you have provided to us changes, including if your billing address changes or if your use of energy changes (for example, if you start running a business at the premises).

    3. Life support equipment

      1. If a person living at your premises requires life support equipment, you must register the premises with us or your distributor. To register, you will need to give written confirmation from a registered medical practitioner of the requirement for life support equipment at the premises.

      2. You must tell us or your distributor if the life support equipment is no longer required at the premises.

    4. Obligations if you are not an owner

      If you cannot meet an obligation relating to your premises under this contract because you are not the owner, you will not be in breach of the obligation if you take all reasonable steps to ensure that the owner or other person responsible for the premises fulfils the obligations.

  7. Our liability

    1. The quality and reliability of your electricity supply and the quality, pressure and continuity of your energy supply is subject to a variety of factors that are beyond our control as your retailer, including accidents, emergencies, weather conditions, vandalism, system demand, the technical limitations of the distribution system and the acts of other persons (such as your distributor), including at the direction of a relevant authority.

    2. To the extent permitted by law, we give no condition, warranty or undertaking, and we make no representation to you, about the condition or suitability of energy, its quality, its fitness for purpose or safety, other than those set out in this contract.

    3. Unless we have acted in bad faith or negligently, the National Energy Retail Law excludes our liability for any loss or damage you suffer due to the total or partial failure to supply energy to your premises, which includes any loss or damage you suffer due to the defective supply of energy.

  8. Our plans and energy charges

    1. OVO Energy Plans

      Your OVO Energy Plan sets out additional terms and conditions of this contract, including specific benefits, tariffs and charges that apply to you under this contract.

    2. What are our tariffs and charges?

      You must pay us for the energy charges set out in your OVO Energy Plan, and any applicable other charges.

    3. Changes to charges

      1. If we have agreed to provide you a fixed rate tariff in your OVO Energy Plan we will not vary the tariffs and charges or introduce new tariffs and charges. Except (other than in Victoria) we may, to the extent permitted by energy laws, reflect any increase in our direct or indirect costs or to allow us to fully recover our direct or indirect costs relating to any one or more of the following:

        1. us purchasing energy for sale to you, including managing or minimising price risk;

        2. other costs that we incur in order to sell energy to you at the premises, including in relation to networks, metering, energy market participation, our liability under environmental schemes, loss factors (if this contract is for the sale of electricity) and unaccounted gas (if this contract is for the sale of gas); or

        3. the imposition of a new law, regulatory requirement or tax, a change to a law, regulatory requirement or tax, a change to the interpretation of a law or regulatory requirement or a change to the basis for imposing or calculating any tax.

      2. If we have agreed to provide you a variable rate tariff under your OVO Energy Plan, we may vary the tariffs and charges, or introduce new tariffs and charges, for any reason.

      3. We will give you notice of any variations to tariffs and charges that affect you as soon as practicable, and in any event no later than your next bill (unless a longer period is required under the energy laws).

      4. If we vary the tariffs and charges or introduce new tariffs and charges during a billing period, we will calculate your next bill based on the variations or new tariffs and charges on a pro rata basis from the date stated in the notice provided under clause 8.3(c).

      5. If we vary the tariffs and charges, or introduce new tariffs and charges in accordance with clauses 8.3(a), 8.3(a)(iii) or 8.3(b), and you notify us that you wish to end this contract within 20 business days after the date you receive our notice of variation, then:

        1. this contract will end; and
        2. we will not charge any exit fee that would otherwise apply.
    4. GST

      1. All amounts stated in your OVO Energy Plan may be stated to be exclusive or inclusive of GST. Clause 8.4(b) applies unless an amount is stated to include GST.

      2. Where an amount paid by you under this contract is payment for a "taxable supply" as defined for GST purposes, to the extent permitted by law, that payment will be increased so that the cost of the GST payable on the taxable supply is passed on to the recipient of that taxable supply.

  9. GreenPower

    1. GreenPower is a government administered scheme, the details of which can be found at www.ovoenergy.com.au/greenpower and www.greenpower.gov.au/.
    2. All of our OVO Energy Plans automatically have at least 10% GreenPower as standard. This benefit is already included in your energy charges and does not result in an additional charge to you. There is nothing that you are required to do in order to gain this benefit.
    3. You can choose to increase your 10% Greenpower to 100% GreenPower by asking us any time by phone or online via My OVO. This does result in an additional charge per kWh that is set out in your OVO Energy Plan.
    4. After you tell us you'd like to upgrade to 100% GreenPower your direct debit will change, and you will be charged the relevant amount in advance for the following month.
    5. You can choose to stop paying for 100% GreenPower at any time by phone or online via My OVO.
    6. We'll ensure that for the percentage of the electricity that we sell to you as GreenPower (as applicable to your selected green option), an equivalent amount of electricity is produced from 'GreenPower Generators' accredited under the National GreenPower Accreditation Program. Under the GreenPower scheme, we are independently audited on an annual basis.
    7. The electricity produced from GreenPower Generators to meet your green option is dispatched into the communal electricity grid and cannot be distinguished from electricity produced from non-renewable sources. We therefore cannot guarantee that any or all of the electricity actually supplied to your premises is partly or exclusively from renewable energy sources.
    8. However, as our green options are accredited GreenPower products, the rules of the National GreenPower Accreditation Program operate to ensure that we cause the required amount of renewable energy to be produced and dispatched into the communal system.
    9. If for any reason your green option ceases to be accredited under the rules of the National GreenPower Accreditation Program, or we're no longer able to continue providing the green option, we will notify you of your options as soon as practicable and in accordance with energy laws. You may cancel your green option by notifying us.
    10. There is no exit fee for cancelling your green option and we won't charge you any additional fee for GreenPower following notification of your cancellation.
  10. Billing

    1. General

      We will send a bill to you as soon as possible after the end of each monthly billing cycle. We will send the bill:

      1. to you at the physical or electronic address nominated by you; or
      2. to a person authorised in writing by you to act on your behalf at the address specified by you.
    2. Bill smoothing

      You agree that we will bill you for energy under a bill smoothing arrangement, as described in this clause 10.2.

    3. How is your bill calculated

      You will pay in advance for the energy you consume at your premises. We will calculate each bill based on:

      1. the energy charges for amount of energy we think you will use during each year which we will estimate in accordance with energy laws and divide that number by 12 to determine our estimate of energy you will use each month; plus
      2. any other charges applicable during the billing period.
    4. Your obligation to provide a meter read

      1. We will ask you to provide us meter read every 90 days (unless you have a smart meter and we receive readings automatically). You can find guidance on how to read your meter on the FAQs section of our website, a hyperlink to this can be found here.
    5. Adjustment to bill smoothing payments

      1. We will review your bill smoothing arrangements periodically (we aim to do this at least twice a year) to assess whether your bill smoothing payments are appropriate with regard to the energy being consumed, based on our actual readings of the meter.

      2. Following a review, if required, your bill smoothing payment amount will be adjusted and you will be advised of the changes.

      3. If a payment is made to your account which we reasonably believe to be fraudulent or has been made erroneously:

        1. we may debit your account with any processing fee charged by the merchant processor, as set out in our energy charges lists in your OVO Energy Plan;

        2. we may debit your account with the amount that has been fraudulently or erroneously credited to the account; and

        3. we may:

          1. require payment of the debt by you immediately; or

          2. allow you to repay the debt in instalments.

    6. Your historical billing information

      Upon request, we must give you information about your billing history for the previous 2 years free of charge. However, we may charge you if we have already given you this information in the previous 12 months, or if you require information going back more than 2 years.

  11. Paying your bill

    1. What you have to pay

      You must pay to us the amount shown on each bill by the date for payment (the pay-by date) on the bill.

    2. Direct debit

      1. If your OVO Energy Plan specifies that a direct debit arrangement is a condition of eligibility for that plan, you must enter into a direct debit arrangement with us to automatically pay your energy bills by a direct debit account you nominate upon entry into this contract, unless we agree with you to pay via a different payment method.

      2. It is your responsibility to:

        1. ensure that you have sufficient cleared funds in your nominated account when the payments are to be drawn; and

        2. contact us before the pay-by date if you believe your bill is incorrect.

      3. We will perform our obligations under the direct debit arrangement you enter into with us in accordance with the energy laws, including that we will not alter the amount or frequency of your direct debit payments without your consent and we will terminate the arrangement at your request.

      4. If you exercise your right under energy laws to terminate the direct debit arrangement, we will assist you in migrating to a different tariff under an alternative OVO Energy Plan.

    3. OVO Interest Reward

      1. You are eligible for the OVO Interest Reward if you have agreed to an OVO Energy Plan and you pay your bills using direct debit, unless we change or withdraw the benefit by notice to you in accordance with applicable energy laws.

      2. The OVO Interest Reward is the benefit we pay on positive balances in your account calculated based on:

        1. your yearly rate, depending on how long you've been with us, as set out in your OVO Energy Plan; and

        2. the remaining positive balance in your account each month after all outstanding charges have been paid, for example where your bill smoothing payment for a month was more than the charges calculated based on the actual energy you consumed. The remaining positive amount is prorated for the number of days since we last billed you.

      3. We'll calculate the OVO Interest Reward and will automatically credit it to your account.

      4. We can change any aspect of the OVO Interest Reward (including its rate and how it's calculated), or stop or withdraw offering it entirely, at any time, by notifying you in accordance with applicable energy laws.

      5. If we change any aspect of the OVO Interest Reward, or stop or withdraw offering it entirely in accordance with clause 11.3(d), and you notify us that you wish to end this contract within 20 business days after the date you receive our notice under clause 11.3(d), then:

        1. this contract will end; and

        2. we will not charge any exit fee that would otherwise apply.

      6. The maximum credit balance on which you can earn the OVO Interest Reward is stated in your OVO Energy Plan.

      7. You must not make payments into your account just to receive the OVO Interest Reward, for example, by:

        1. overestimating your projected energy usage when you enter into this contract so that your bill smoothing payments are more than what is needed to pay charges based on your likely energy usage; or

        2. making top-up payments via credit or debit when not required.

      8. If we reasonably believe you're doing this, we'll refund the extra amounts to you and we may withhold payment of the OVO Interest Reward on those amounts.

    4. Issue of reminder notices

      If you have not paid your bill by the pay-by date (e.g. because your direct debit has been declined by your bank), we will send you a reminder notice that the payment is required. The reminder notice will give you a further due date for payment which will be not less than 6 business days after we issue the notice.

    5. Consequences of not paying a bill on time

      1. If a bill is not paid by the pay-by date, we may:

        1. require you to pay a late payment fee (this clause 11.5(a)(i) does not apply in Victoria);

        2. charge you interest on the unpaid amount at the interest rate, calculated daily from the day after the pay-by date until the date that the overdue amount is actually received by us (inclusive). Any late payment interest will be added to your next bill as an amount payable to us;

        3. seek to have your premises disconnected in accordance with the energy laws (after following the procedures set out in the energy laws and this contract); and

        4. take steps to recover overdue amounts from you and our related costs (including legal fees, or fees or commissions we pay to a mercantile or debt collection agent), including commencing legal proceedings. However, we will:

          1. comply with our obligations under the energy laws, including by complying with our customer hardship policy and by not commencing debt recovery proceedings against you if you are adhering to the terms of a payment plan; and

          2. comply with guidelines on debt collection issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

      2. We will not charge you a late payment fee under clause 11.5(a)(i) or late payment interest under clause 11.5(a)(ii) if any of the following apply to you:

        1. you are a hardship customer (as defined in the National Energy Retail Law);

        2. you hold a health care card (as defined in the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth));

        3. you are a pensioner and receive a concession on your electricity bills;

        4. you are on a payment plan with us; or

        5. your electricity account is under suspension or the amount owed is set out in a final bill.

    6. Difficulties in paying

      1. If you have difficulties paying your bill, you should contact us as soon as possible. We will provide you with information about payment options.

      2. If you are a residential customer and have told us that you have difficulty paying your bill, we must offer you the option of paying your bill under a payment plan. However, we are not obliged to do so if you have had 2 payment plans cancelled due to non-payment in the previous 12 months or have been convicted of an offence involving the illegal use of energy in the previous 2 years.

      3. Additional protections may be available to you under our customer hardship policy and under the National Energy Retail Law and the Rules if you are a customer experiencing payment difficulties due to hardship. A copy of our customer hardship policy is available on our website.

    7. Fees for dishonoured payments

      If, due to fault by you, your payment is dishonoured or reversed and it results in us incurring a fee, we may recover the amount of this fee from you.

  12. Meters

    1. Access

      1. You must allow us and our authorised representatives safe and unhindered access to your premises for the purposes of (where relevant):

        1. reading, testing, maintaining, inspecting or altering any metering installation at the premises;

        2. calculating or measuring energy supplied or taken at the premises;

        3. checking the accuracy of metered consumption at the premises; and

        4. replacing meters.

      2. If we or our representatives seek access to the premises under clause 12.1(a), we will:

        1. comply with all relevant requirements under the energy laws;

        2. carry or wear official identification; and

        3. show the identification if requested.

    2. Meter reading

      1. We will use our best endeavours to ensure that a meter reading is carried out as frequently as is needed to prepare your bills, consistently with the metering rules and in any event at least once every 12 months.
    3. Replacement

      1. If we propose to replace your electricity meter we must give you a notice with the right to elect not to have your meter replaced unless:

        1. your meter is faulty or sample testing indicates it may become faulty; or
      2. you have requested or agreed to the replacement of your meter.

    4. Metering installation for solar PV system

      1. If you have a solar PV system, we may need to change or reconfigure your meter in order for you to receive any feed-in tariff that you may be eligible to receive. You must pay us for any connection and/or metering installation or reconfiguration charges.
  13. Interruption to electricity supply

    1. Retailer may arrange retailer planned interruptions (maintenance, repair etc.)

      1. We may arrange retailer planned interruptions to the supply of electricity to your premises where permitted under the energy laws for the purpose of the installation, maintenance, repair or replacement of your electricity meter.

      2. If your electricity supply will be affected by a retailer planned interruption arranged by us:

        1. we may seek your explicit consent to the interruption occurring on a specified date;

        2. we may seek your explicit consent to the interruption occurring on any day within a specified 5 business day range; or

        3. otherwise, we will give you at least 4 business days' notice of the interruption by mail, letterbox drop, press advertisement or other appropriate means.

    2. Your right to information about planned interruptions

      1. If you request us to do so, we will use our best endeavours to explain a retailer planned interruption to the supply of electricity to the premises which was arranged by us.

      2. If you request an explanation in writing we must, within 10 business days of receiving the request, give you either:

        1. the written explanation; or

        2. an estimate of time it will take to provide a more detailed explanation if a longer period is reasonably needed.

        3. For interruptions made by your distributor, we may refer you to your distributor for more information.

  14. Undercharging and overcharging

    1. Undercharging

      1. If we have undercharged you, we may recover the undercharged amount from you. If we recover an undercharged amount from you:

        1. we will not charge interest on the undercharged amount; and

        2. we will offer you time to pay the undercharged amount in instalments over the same period of time during which you were undercharged (if less than 12 months), or otherwise instalments made over 12 months.

        3. The maximum amount we can recover from you is limited to the amount that has been undercharged in the 9 months immediately before we notify you, unless the undercharge is your fault, or results from your unlawful act or omission.

    2. Overcharging

      1. Where you have been overcharged by less than $50, and you have already paid the overcharged amount, we must credit that amount to your next bill.

      2. Where you have been overcharged by $50 or more, we must inform you within 10 business days of our becoming aware of the overcharge and, if you have already paid that amount, we must credit that amount to your next bill. However, if you request otherwise, we will comply with that request.

      3. If you have stopped buying energy from us, we will use our best endeavours to pay the overcharged amount to you within 10 business days.

      4. If you have been overcharged as a result of your own fault or unlawful act or omission, we may limit the amount we credit or pay to you to the amount you were overcharged in the last 12 months.

    3. Reviewing your bill

      1. If you disagree with the amount you have been charged, you can ask us to review your bill in accordance with our standard complaints and dispute resolution procedures.

      2. If you ask us to, we must arrange for a check of the meter reading or metering data or for a test of the meter in reviewing the bill. You will be liable for the cost of the check or test and we may request payment in advance. However, if the meter or metering data proves to be faulty or incorrect, we must reimburse you for the amount paid.

      3. If your bill is being reviewed, you are still required to pay any other bills from us that are due for payment and the lesser of:

      4. the portion of the bill that you do not dispute; or

      5. an amount equal to the average of your bills in the last 12 months.

      6. If, after our review of the bill:

        1. the bill is found to be correct, you must pay us the unpaid amount; or

        2. the bill is found to be incorrect, we will adjust the bill in accordance with clause 14.1 or 14.2 (as applicable).

  15. Security Deposits

    1. Security deposit

      If we ask you to provide a security deposit, you must pay the security deposit when we ask you to do so. The circumstances in which we can require a security deposit and the maximum amount of the security deposit are governed by the Rules.

    2. Interest on security deposits

      Where you have paid a security deposit, we must pay you interest on the security deposit at a rate and on terms required by the Rules.

    3. Use of a security deposit

      We may use your security deposit, and any interest earned on the security deposit, to offset any amount you owe under this contract.

    4. Return of security deposit

      1. We must return your security deposit and any accrued interest in the following circumstances:

      2. when you complete 1 years' payment (in the case of residential customers) or 2 years' payment (in the case of business customers) by the pay-by-dates on our initial bills; or

      3. subject to clause 16.3 of this contract, when you stop purchasing energy at the relevant premises under this contract.

      4. If you do not give us any reasonable instructions, we will credit the amount of the security deposit, together with any accrued interest, to your next bill.

  16. Disconnection of supply

    1. When can we arrange for disconnection?

      Subject to us satisfying the requirements in the Rules, we may arrange for the disconnection of your premises if:

      1. you do not pay your bill by the pay-by-date and, if you are a residential customer, you:

        1. fail to comply with the terms of an agreed payment plan; or

        2. do not agree to an offer to pay the bill by instalments, or having agreed, you fail to comply with the instalment arrangement;

      2. you do not provide a security deposit we are entitled to require from you;

      3. you do not give access to your premises to read a meter (where relevant) for 3 consecutive meter reads;

      4. you fail to give us safe and unhindered access to the premises as required by clause 12 or any requirements under the energy laws;

      5. there has been illegal or fraudulent use of energy at your premises in breach of clause 18 of this contract; or

      6. we are otherwise entitled or required to do so under the rules or by law.

    2. Notice and warning of disconnection

      Before disconnecting your premises, we must comply with relevant warning notice requirements and other provisions in the rules, and in relation to safe and unhindered access only, we must use our best endeavours to contact you to arrange an appointment with you for access to your premises in addition to any warning notice. However, we are not required to provide a warning notice prior to disconnection in certain circumstances (for example, where there has been illegal or fraudulent use of energy at your premises or where there is an emergency or health and safety issue).

    3. When we must not arrange disconnection

      1. Subject to clause 16.3(b), your premises may not be disconnected during the following times ('the protected period'):

        1. on a business day before 8.00 am or after 3.00 pm (or 2.00 pm if you're a residential customer whose premises are located in Victoria);

        2. on a Friday or the day before a public holiday;

        3. on a weekend or a public holiday;

        4. on the days between 20 December and 31 December (both inclusive) in any year; or

        5. if you are being disconnected under clause 16.1(a), during an extreme weather event.

      2. Your premises may be disconnected within the protected period:

        1. for reasons of health and safety;

        2. in an emergency;

        3. as directed by a relevant authority;

        4. if you are in breach of the relevant clause of your customer connection contract which deals with interference with energy equipment;

        5. if you request us to arrange disconnection within the protected period;

        6. if your premises contain a commercial business that only operates within the protected period and where access to the premises is necessary to effect disconnection; or

        7. where the premises are not occupied.

  17. Reconnection after disconnection

    1. We must arrange for the reconnection of your premises if, within 10 business days of your premises being disconnected:

      1. you ask us to arrange for reconnection of your premises;

      2. you rectify the matter that led to the disconnection; and

      3. you pay any reconnection charge (if requested).

    2. If you do not meet the requirements in clause 17(a) in 10 business days of your premises being disconnected, this contract ends in accordance with clause 4.5(c)(iv).

  18. Wrongful and illegal use of energy

    1. Use of energy

      You must not, and must take reasonable steps to ensure others do not:

      1. illegally use energy supplied to your premises;

      2. interfere or allow interference with any energy equipment that is at your premises except as may be permitted by law;

      3. use the energy supplied to your premises or any energy equipment in a manner that:

        1. unreasonably interferes with the connection or supply of energy to another customer; or

        2. causes damage or interference to any third party;

      4. allow energy purchased from us to be used otherwise than in accordance with this contract and the Rules; or

      5. tamper with, or permit tampering with, any meters or associated equipment.

  19. Notices and bills

    1. Notices and bills under this contract must be sent in writing, unless this contract or the National Energy Retail Law and the Rules say otherwise.

    2. If you have provided your consent in accordance with the Rules (either at the time of entering into this contract or at a later stage) to receive notices and bills electronically, we may send notices and bills under this contract to you electronically.

    3. A notice or bill sent under this contract is taken to have been received by you or by us (as relevant):

      1. on the date it is handed to the party, left at the party's premises (in your case) or one of our offices (in our case) or successfully faxed to the party (which occurs when the sender receives a transmission report to that effect);

      2. on the date 2 business days after it is posted; or

      3. on the date of transmission (unless the sender receives notice that delivery did not occur or has been delayed) if sent electronically and the use of electronic communication has been agreed between us.

    4. Our contact details for you to contact us or send us a notice are as set out in our bill to you, or as notified to you from time to time.

  20. Privacy Act notice

    We will comply with all relevant privacy legislation in relation to your personal information. You can find a summary of our privacy policy on our website. If you have any questions, you can contact our Privacy Officer - their details are in our privacy policy.

  21. Complaints and dispute resolution

    1. Complaints

      If you have a complaint relating to the sale of energy by us to you, or this contract generally, you may lodge a complaint with us in accordance with our standard complaints and dispute resolution procedures published on our website.

    2. Our obligations in handling complaints

      If you make a complaint, we must respond to your complaint within the required timeframes set out in our standard complaints and dispute resolution procedures and inform you:

      1. of the outcome of your complaint and the reasons for our decision; and

      2. that if you are not satisfied with our response, you have a right to refer the complaint to the relevant energy ombudsman, which means if your premises is located within:

        1. New South Wales - the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW;

        2. Queensland - the Energy and Water Ombudsman QLD;

        3. South Australia - the Energy Industry Ombudsman SA; or

        4. Victoria - the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria.

  22. Force Majeure

    1. Effect of force majeure event

      If either party to this contract cannot meet an obligation under this contract because of an event outside the control of that party (a force majeure event):

      1. the obligation, other than an obligation to pay money, is suspended to the extent it is affected by the force majeure event for as long as the force majeure event continues; and

      2. the affected party must use its best endeavours to give the other party prompt notice of that fact including full particulars of the event, an estimate of its likely duration, the extent to which the affected party's obligations are affected and the steps being taken to remove, overcome or minimise those effects.

    2. Deemed prompt notice

      If the effects of a force majeure event are widespread, we will be deemed to have given you prompt notice if we make the necessary information available by way of a 24 hour telephone service within 30 minutes of being advised of the event or otherwise as soon as practicable.

    3. Obligation to overcome or minimise effect of force majeure event

      A party that claims a force majeure event must use its best endeavours to remove, overcome or minimise the effects of that event as soon as practicable.

    4. Settlement of industrial disputes

      Nothing in this clause requires a party to settle an industrial dispute that constitutes a force majeure event in any manner other than the manner preferred by that party.

  23. Applicable law

    The laws in force in the State in which your premises is located govern this contract.

  24. Retailer of last resort event

    If we are no longer entitled by law to sell energy to you due to a Retailer of Last Resort (RoLR) event occurring in relation to us, we are required under the National Energy Retail Law and the Rules to provide relevant information (including your name, billing address and metering identifier) to the entity appointed as the relevant designated retailer for the RoLR event and this contract will come to an end. This contract will automatically end when your premises is transferred to that retailer and no exit fee will apply. We will also cancel any direct debit arrangement we have with you and notify you and your financial institution of the cancellation.

  25. General

    1. Our obligations

      Some obligations placed on us under this contract may be carried out by another person. If an obligation is placed on us to do something under this contract, then:

      1. we are taken to have complied with the obligation if another person does it on our behalf; and
      2. if the obligation is not complied with, we are still liable to you for the failure to comply with this contract.
    2. Amending this contract

      1. We can amend this contract where:

        1. we give you 20 business days' notice of the amendment; and

          1. you accept the change by not terminating the contract.
        2. We may also amend the contract by giving you notice if we need to because the energy laws change.

    3. Novation

      1. We may transfer or novate our rights and obligations under this contract to another retailer at any time:
        1. by notice to you, if:
        2. that retailer is a related body corporate of OVO Energy; or
        3. that transfer or novation forms part of the transfer of all or a substantial part of our retail business to that other retailer; or
      2. if you consent to that transfer or novation (which consent will not be unreasonably withheld).
      3. You cannot transfer or novate your rights and obligations under this contract to any third party unless we give prior written consent.
  26. Simplified explanation of terms

    billing cycle means the regular recurrent period for which you receive a bill from us.

    business day means a day other than a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday.

    charges means energy charges and other charges.

    customer connection contract means a contract between you and your distributor for the provision of customer connection services.

    customer hardship policy means the policy setting out our processes for identifying and assisting residential customers experiencing payment difficulties due to hardship, as required by the National Energy Retail Law.

    designated retailer means the financially responsible retailer for the premises (where you have an existing connection) or the local area retailer (where you do not have an existing connection) for your premises.

    disconnection means an action to prevent the flow of energy to the premises, but does not include an interruption.

    distributor means the person who operates the system that connects your premises to the distribution network.

    emergency means an emergency due to the actual or imminent occurrence of an event that in any way endangers or threatens to endanger the safety or health of any person, or normal operation of the distribution system or transmission system, or that destroys or damages, or threatens to destroy or damage, any property.

    energy means electricity or gas (as applicable for your contract).

    (Term relevant to Victorian customers only): Electricity Industry Act means the Electricity Industry Act 2000 (Vic).

    energy charges means charges for the supply of energy, which are set out in your OVO Energy Plan.

    energy laws means national and State and Territory laws and Rules relating to energy and the legal instruments made under those laws and Rules (including the National Energy Retail Law).

    force majeure event means an event outside the control of a party.

    (Term relevant to Victorian customers only): Gas Industry Act means the Gas Industry Act 2001 (Vic).

    GST has the meaning given in the GST Act (being A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth)).

    OVO Interest Reward has the meaning given in clause 11.3(b).

    National Energy Retail Law means the law of that name that is applied by each participating State and Territory.

    other charges means charges specified under your OVO Energy Plan, other than the energy charges.

    OVO Energy means OVO Energy Pty Ltd (ABN 99 623 475 089).

    OVO Energy Plan means the document entitled 'OVO Energy Plan' (or similar) which sets out the details of your energy supply, including your product, benefits and charges.

    residential customer means a person who purchases energy principally for personal, household or domestic use at their premises.

    retailer means a person that is authorised to sell energy to customers.

    RoLR event means an event that triggers the operation of the retailer of Last Resort scheme under the National Energy Retail Law.

    (Term relevant to Victorian customers only): In Victoria the retailer of Last Resort scheme is under the Electricity Industry Act or the Gas Industry Act.

    Rules means the National Energy Retail Rules made under the National Energy Retail Law.

    security deposit means an amount of money paid to us as security against non-payment of a bill in accordance with the Rules.

    small customer means (other than for Victorian customers):

    1. a residential customer; or
    2. a business customer who consumes energy at or below a level determined under the National Energy Retail Law.

    (Term relevant to Victorian customers only): In Victoria, a small customer is a 'domestic or small business customer' as defined in the Electricity Industry Act or the Gas Industry Act.