Lumo Energy push for a rule change on Family Violence

When the Essential Services Commission announced changes to the Energy Retail Code, designed to provide Victorian customers affected by family violence a right to safe, supportive and flexible assistance in managing their personal and financial security, Snowy Hydro’s retail group made a decision to take the new regulation nationwide.

Employees of Lumo Energy attended 70 specialist, external training workshops run by eMatrix on Family Violence. Everyone, from the CEO, through to customer and non-customer facing teams downed tools for a day, to gain insights and understanding on what constitutes Family Violence, its prevalence and how to support a customer or a work colleague who is a victim of family violence.

Iain Graham, CEO of Lumo Energy, made a commitment to include all customers, not just those in Victoria, and to train all employees in the business’s Family Violence policy.

“Family violence doesn’t discriminate and it certainly doesn’t stop at state borders. We know one in four women will be affected by family violence in their lifetime. This is a tragic statistic and one we believe we have some responsibility as a business to try to change” said Mr Graham.

“As we’ve rolled out the training we’ve been mindful that our own people may be impacted by family violence. Our goal has been to equip our staff so that they can provide our customers with the right support and protections, but also to ensure we have support available for our people should they need it”, said Mr Graham.

eMatrix trainer, Liana Papoutsis, an experienced human rights and law academic and a Family Violence survivor, worked with the business to develop a workshop that would challenge stereotypes, and go beyond workplace compliance to discussions that were often difficult and confronting.

Lumo Energy’s approach demonstrates a top-down commitment with a concerted effort to create a culture which unreservedly supports vulnerable customers in a family violence context.

The team’s commitment to working with eMatrix over several months to develop the best on point training, has been industry leading. This proactive approach means Lumo Energy are now well placed to offer sustainable solutions with a human-centred approach, when dealing with the complexities of vulnerable customers.”

“Our customers are at the centre of everything we do. This is a small way we can provide support and assistance no matter where that customer lives” said Mr Graham.

About Snowy Hydro’s Retail Group

Red Energy and Lumo Energy are 100% Australian owned subsidiaries of Snowy Hydro Limited. Collectively, they retail gas and electricity in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, and electricity in the ACT to over 1 million customers.

Snowy Hydro also owns Direct Connect Australia, which makes moving easy for customers by arranging connections to a wide range of services, including electricity and gas.

Red, Lumo and Direct Connect believe it is imperative that energy customers that are affected by family violence are afforded protections, irrespective of where they reside. All entities, including energy retailers have a corporate social responsibility to assist customers in this unfortunate situation.

Published 15 February 2020