Issue 25 – March 2011
As noted in the February 2011 edition of Touchstone, Standards New Zealand is consulting with stakeholders about a potential International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard for energy suppliers. The Standard would provide sector specific guidance for energy suppliers to measure and assess services, to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these services to household users, and to increase customer satisfaction.
The potential Standard would draw on Standards already developed about customer satisfaction (ISO 10001, ISO 10002, and ISO 10003). The energy services intended to be covered by the Standard include gas; electricity and hot water district heating systems; and distributed fuels and off-grid systems.
The potential Standard would address the points below to improve services and access to services, and to provide simple and effective ways to promote access to sustainable energy.
- Provision of information to consumers in a form which is accurate, timely, and comprehensible
- Non-integrated systems such as highly localised solar panel based systems or battery charging or kerosene or liquid gas cylinder distribution systems
- Principles governing equitable distribution of service, in particular regarding duration and regularity of supply
- Implicit contractual rights to service, so that consumers are not penalised by loss of, or failure to understand, written contracts
- Guidance on public participation in the regulation of the service
- Payment methods to help those on low incomes
- Management of debt and disconnection policies
- Guidance on the range of factors to be considered in the determination of prices
- Guidance on tariffs and subsidies, in particular to allow their design and administration to take into account the needs of the poor
Standards New Zealand is consulting with key stakeholders to form the New Zealand view about whether the project should go ahead at ISO. For more information, or to provide any comments on this proposal, please email email@example.com by 15 April 2011.