Developing a toolkit to help consumer-facing energy businesses identify vulnerability

Closed 5 Apr 2024

Opened 1 Mar 2024


The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is developing a toolkit to help consumer-facing energy businesses identify and engage with consumers experiencing vulnerability.

The toolkit aims to share insights that consumer-facing energy businesses (including energy retailers) can adapt to their specific context. It does not set mandatory obligations for energy businesses.

Based on research and stakeholder consultation, the draft toolkit identifies 6 better practice principles for identifying and engaging with consumers experiencing vulnerability:

  1. Build an organisational culture focused on strong customer relationships and better consumer outcomes
  2. Design for all consumers
  3. Deliver customer service that engages effectively with vulnerability
  4. Collaborate with other organisations
  5. Use data to improve consumer outcomes
  6. Commit to continuously improving consumer experiences and outcomes

These principles together to help consumer-facing energy businesses support better outcomes for consumers through earlier identification, support, and intervention.

We are seeking feedback and input on the draft toolkit, including:

  • the better practice principles we have identified based on research and early consultation
  • the consumer stories and case studies used to illustrate the better practice principles
  • what additional resources or information would be useful in helping consumer-facing energy businesses and their staff implement the better practice principles.

You can download the draft toolkit on our website here.

We invite consumer and industry groups, retailers, and other interested parties to make submissions on the toolkit by Friday 5 April 2024 (deadline extended from 17 March 2024). Responses to the consultation questions can be submitted directly through this online survey. Alternatively, submissions can be emailed to

Why your views matter

In October 2022, we launched our Towards energy equity – A strategy for an inclusive energy market. Our strategy seeks to tackle the enduring issues that prevent people from getting what they need from Australia’s energy system. The toolkit is action 2 from the strategy. Your input will help us finalise the toolkit and consider other opportunities to support better practice.

We prefer that all submissions are publicly available to facilitate an informed and transparent consultative process. Submissions will be treated as public documents unless marked confidential.

Parties wishing to submit confidential information are requested to:

  • clearly identify the information that is the subject of the confidentiality claim
  • provide a non-confidential version of the submission in a form suitable for publication.

We will publish all non-confidential submissions on the project web page. For further information on the AER’s use and disclosure of information provided to it, see the ACCC/AER Information Policy, June 2014.

What happens next

We are considering the feedback received in finalising the toolkit. The final toolkit will be published on the AER's website in mid-2024.


  • All business
  • Industry
  • Consumer groups


  • Electricity
  • Gas