In compliance with the requirement of Electricity Retail Supply Code, the dispute resolution process for our retail customer is contained in the contract and reads:
If any dispute arises between the parties relating to or arising out of this Agreement, including its construction, effect, the rights and obligations of the parties, the performance, breach, rescission or termination of this Agreement, the entitlement of any party to damages or compensation (whether for breach of contract, tort or any other cause of action) or the amount of that entitlement (Dispute), the party claiming that a Dispute has arisen must deliver to the other party a notice containing particulars of the Dispute (Dispute Notice).
Parties must negotiate
During the period of 10 Business Days after delivery of the Dispute Notice, or any longer period agreed in writing by the parties (Initial Period), each of the parties must use reasonable endeavours and act in good faith to resolve the Dispute by discussion and negotiation.
Resolution by senior executives
If the parties are unable to resolve the Dispute within the Initial Period, the Dispute must be referred to the respective senior executives (or their nominees) of the parties. The parties must ensure that their respective senior executives (or their nominees):
- have authority to negotiate and, if appropriate, enter into a binding agreement on behalf of the relevant party;
- meet promptly (and in any event within 5 Business Days) after the matter is referred to them; and
- use their reasonable endeavours and act in good faith in an attempt to resolve the matter within 5 Business Days after the matter is referred to them or any longer period agreed in writing by the parties.
Referral to expert
If the senior executives (or their nominees) have been unable to resolve a Dispute within the period set out in clause X, then the parties must submit the Dispute to an independent expert for determination administered by the Australian Disputes Centre (ADC) in accordance with the ADC Rules for Expert Determination, which Rules are taken to be incorporated into this Agreement.
A party may not commence Court proceedings in respect of a Dispute unless it has complied with this clause X and until the procedures in this clause X have been followed in full, except where:
- the party seeks injunctive relief in relation to a Dispute from an appropriate Court where failure to obtain such relief would cause irreparable damage to the party concerned; or
- following those procedures would mean that a limitation period for a cause of action relevant to the issues in dispute will expire.