Thomas GeorgeMember for Lismore- State Matters

Office contactsPhone: 6621 3624Fax: 6622 1403Address: PO Box 52, Lismore, NSW, 2480Email: Energy contracts

Since the NSW Government opened up the energy sector to retail competition, my office has been contacted recently by a number of people concerned about contracts being offered to them by alternative energy providers.

Whilst the new rules allow us as customers to shop around and get a better deal, it can also cause confusion about what is being offered.

The Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW has produced a fact sheet for customers considering a new contract. Amongst the advice they offer is that the consumer should carefully read any contract they are offered before signing and check it matches the deal the marketer described.

They advise there are two types of contracts Standard Form Contracts and Negotiated Contracts. Standard Form Contracts apply when you buy electricity or gas direct from the standard retailer in your area. This contract is regulated by the government and has standard rules and customer protections.

If you change your retailer or accept a different offer from your standard retailer, you will enter a Negotiated Contract.

If you would like further information please contact my office for a copy of the fact sheet.

Small Business September continues

In my last column I reported on Pollies for Small Business Day, which is part of Small Business September, a month of activities highlighting the importance of small businesses.

The month includes events and information about a variety of small business interests such as improving marketing skills, discovering how to use the latest innovations, expanding networks and growing your business.

The wide-ranging events of Small Business September are designed specifically to assist small businesses achieve their business goals. Small Business September helps business to develop strategies to deal with everything from skills shortages and succession planning to exporting and the forces affecting local and international markets.

Small Business September offers information to help strengthen small business and assist them to prepare and grow for the future.

For more information about Small Business September please contact my office or visit the website at

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