Lumo Energy has paid a penalty of $10,800 to the ACCC for making a “false or misleading” representation of its energy discounts under Australian Consumer Law.
In February this year Lumo stated on its website that consumers could save 33 per cent off their total electricity bill, and 17 per cent off their total gas bill if they switched to Lumo. Despite offering electricity to Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, it turns out this offer was only available to Victorian customers – something Lumo failed to mention.
Maximum discounts for electricity were substantially less in other states. Lumo doesn’t even sell gas to other states.
“Discounted energy plans are very attractive to many Australians who are trying to reduce their energy bills,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said. “It is vitally important that any representations made to consumers about discounts are accurate and relevant to them, so that people can make informed decisions about their choice of energy retailer and feel confident in those choices.”
“Consumer confidence can lead to increased switching between retailers, and better competition within the energy market as a whole,” Court said.
This isn’t the first time Lumo has been in trouble with the ACCC – the company copped a $10,800 fine for blaming the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for price hikes on retail gas tariffs – that were actually a a commercial pricing decision made by energy company.
Lumo call centre staff told “a number of consumers” in February 2016 that the AER was responsible for increased bills.