People losing homes for as little as $400 in back taxes – Jul #tax #liens,


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The other foreclosure crisis: Losing a home over $400 in back taxes

When homeowners don’t pay property taxes or other municipal bills, like water or sewer fees, local governments have less money to maintain services like schools, police and fire departments and road maintenance. By selling tax liens, those governments can collect on what it is owed.

Investors, in return, effectively own a claim against the property until the homeowner pays the county or municipality back or until they default on the debt entirely. The investor can either collect interest on the taxes owed from the homeowner. Or, if the homeowner fails to pay up, the investor can take possession, or foreclose, on the home.

It’s a win-win for investors, said John Rao, a consumer credit and bankruptcy attorney and the author of the report. Either the investor gets their investment back with interest or they get the home — typically, for a pretty sizable discount to what the home is worth.

The report cited a case of an 81-year-old Rhode Island woman who fell behind on a $474 sewer bill. A corporation bought the home in a tax sale for $836.39. The woman was evicted from the home she had lived in for more than 40 years and the corporation resold the place for $85,000, the report said.

Most investors, however, buy tax liens for the interest. That’s because many states allow investors to charge rates of 18% or more on the outstanding debts. And, in some cases, as much as 20% to 50%, the report said.

It is for this reason, that tax lien sales are often promoted on websites and late-night television advertisements as ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes, the report said.

Many states sell tax liens in auctions where investors bid on the interest rate that will be paid on the debt. In some auctions, there are so many investors competing against one another that the rates don’t always hit those staggering double-digit rates. Investors may get more like 7% to 10% interest on the liens.

Sometimes, however, they can sell at or near the maximum, making it nearly impossible for the homeowner to afford the payments and the balance soon balloons.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable: As a result of high unemployment and declining home values, property tax delinquencies have increased to about $15 billion a year, according to the National Tax Lien Association.

And while many people are able to pay off their debts and reclaim their homes, a growing number of people are becoming vulnerable to tax lien foreclosures. Most at risk are the elderly, particularly those suffering from cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, said Rao.

The process is incredibly confusing, said Rao. The notices are in legalese that no one can understand. Some states do little to help. The concept of a ‘right to redeem’ is lost on many homeowners.

One elderly Montana woman, who lived alone and had no close family to help her, fell more than $5,000 behind on taxes, the report said. After she failed to respond to letters from the company that bought her home in a tax sale, she was evicted from her Missoula home. As a result, she lost about $150,000 in equity in the property, according to the report.

Fixing the ‘other foreclosure crisis’: The extent of the problem is difficult to determine. The cases occur at the local government level and no one agency or organization aggregates the data for the whole country, as they do for bank foreclosures, according to Rao.

To prevent outstanding debts from becoming insurmountable for homeowners to pay off, the National Consumer Law Center recommends that states lower the maximum interest rates allowed and limit other costs and fees. Rao also believes tax lien sales should be conducted in a two-step process with a court supervising the final property seizures.

State and local governments should also establish programs where property owners can pay off back taxes over time, instead of having to come up with a big lump sum, he said, and notices should be written in clear, easy-to-understand language. The procedure in Delaware, for example, begins with the filing of a praecipe for monition in the office of the prothonotary.

Finally, the center is recommending that procedures be put in place where homeowners are adequately informed of their risks and status all through the process. Homes are lost because homeowners simply don’t know what’s going on until it’s too late.

First Published: July 10, 2012: 6:34 PM ET


Pimco revamps BOND ETF, changing fund s name and managers #united #states,daniel #hyman,david #braun,jeffrey #e.


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Pimco revamps BOND ETF, changing fund s name and managers

A Pacific Investment Management Co (PIMCO) sign is shown in Newport Beach, California August 4, 2015. Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) is replacing the full slate of managers on its Total Return Active Exchange-Traded Fund ( BOND.P ) and changing its name, a spokeswoman for the fund management company said on Wednesday, the latest transformation for what was once the largest actively managed ETF.

The fund’s new name will be the Pimco Active Bond ETF. Managers Scott Mather, Mark Kiesel and Mihir Worah are being replaced by David Braun, Jerome Schneider and Daniel Hyman.

The ETF’s ticker, BOND, will remain, a Pimco spokeswoman said.

Once run by Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, the ETF’s assets have fallen to $2 billion from $5.2 billion at its 2013 peak.

The new managers bring “the right mix of expertise and experience in an evolving ETF investing environment where clients are seeking more income,” at a time of low rates and low returns, the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

The ETF will change its stated goals, including adopting new rules that allow fund managers to build more exposure to high-yield junk bonds and have more flexibility on how much interest rate risk they will take on. Investors expect U.S. interest rates to rise.

The changes are expected to take effect by May 8, pending regulatory approvals.

The Pimco Total Return Active ETF was an actively managed intermediate-term ETF intended to mimic the strategy of Pimco’s flagship mutual fund, the Pimco Total Return Fund, which was also run by Gross.

BOND first began losing assets in September 2014 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it was looking into whether Pimco inflated returns of the fund, then managed by Gross. That same month, Gross abruptly left Pimco in a messy split. He now works for Janus Capital Group Inc JNS.N

Pimco agreed in December to pay $20 million to settle charges it misled investors about the fund’s performance. The company did not admit or deny the findings, and said at the time that it has enhanced its policies.

Pimco, which managed nearly $1.47 trillion on Dec 31 and is based in Newport Beach, Calif. is a unit of German insurer Allianz SE ( ALVG.DE ).

“While BOND was a strong asset gatherer in early days, it has shed assets,” facing competition from funds managed by Fidelity Investments and DoubleLine Capital LP’s Jeffrey Gundlach, said Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual-fund research at S Editing by Frances Kerry and David Gregorio


Open Yale Courses #yale,open,courses,robert #j. #shiller,efficient #markets,behavioral #finance,risk #management,insurance,portfolio #diversification,real #estate #finance,carl #icahn,options #markets,stocks,banking


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Financial Markets (2008)

About the Course

Financial institutions are a pillar of civilized society, supporting people in their productive ventures and managing the economic risks they take on. The workings of these institutions are important to comprehend if we are to predict their actions today and their evolution in the coming information age. The course strives to offer understanding of the theory of finance and its relation to the history, strengths and imperfections of such institutions as banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other derivatives markets, and the future of these institutions over the next century.

Course Structure

This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2008.

Course Materials

Video and audio elements from this course are also available on:

About Professor Robert J. Shiller

Robert J. Shiller is Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics at Yale University and a Fellow at the International Center for Finance at the Yale School of Management. Specializing in behavioral finance and real estate, Professor Shiller has published in Journal of Financial Economics. American Economic Review. Journal of Finance. Wall Street Journal. and Financial Times. His books include Market Volatility, Macro Markets (for which he won the TIAA-CREF’s Paul A. Samuelson Award), Irrational Exuberance. and The New Financial Order: Risk in the Twenty-First Century .

Syllabus

Professor

Robert J. Shiller, Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics

Description

Financial institutions are a pillar of civilized society, supporting people in their productive ventures and managing the economic risks they take on. The workings of these institutions are important to comprehend if we are to predict their actions today and their evolution in the coming information age. The course strives to offer understanding of the theory of finance and its relation to the history, strengths and imperfections of such institutions as banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other derivatives markets, and the future of these institutions over the next century.

Texts

Brandeis, Louis D. Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It. Augustus M. Kelley Publishers, Reprints of Economic Classics. New York, 1971.

Brealey, Richard, Stuart C. Myers, and Franklin Allen. Principles of Corporate Finance. 8th edition. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2005.

Douglas, William O. Democracy and Finance. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940.

Fabozzi, Frank J. Franco Modigliani, Frank J. Jones, and Michael G. Ferri. Foundations of Financial Markets and Institutions. 4th ed. Boston, Massachusetts: Prentice Hall, 2010.

Hawtrey, R. G. The Art of Central Banking. London: Longmans, Green and Co. 1932.

O’Barr, William M. and John M. Conley. Fortune Folly: The Wealth Power of Institutional Investing. Homewood, Illinois: Business-One Irwin, 1992.

Shiller, Robert J. Irrational Exuberance. 2nd edition. New York: Doubleday, 2006.

The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Siegel, Jeremy J. Stocks for the Long Run. 4th edition, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Sullivan, Teresa, Elizabeth Warren and Jay Lawrence Westbrook. The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.

Swensen, David. Pioneering Portfolio Management. New York: Free Press, 2000.

Unger, Peter. Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Requirements

Some facility with elementary algebra and calculus required. Course exams consist of roughly 50% math and theory problems and 50% facts and general understanding questions about financial markets.

Grading

Midterm exam 1: 20%
Midterm exam 2: 30%
Problem sets: 10%
Final exam: 40%

Sessions

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts about this course through the survey linked below. We also invite you to provide general feedback about Open Yale Courses by visiting the Feedback area of the site.

Join a Study Group

Through a pilot arrangement with Open Yale Courses, OpenStudy offers tools to participate in online study groups for a selection of Open Yale Courses, including ECON 252. If you wish to participate in one of these study groups, you will need to register for a free account with OpenStudy.

OpenStudy is not affiliated with Yale University. For more information regarding Open Yale Courses linking policy, please consult the Terms of Use .

Course Books and Other Related Titles

Yale University Press offers a 10% discount on the books used in ECON 252 that it publishes, as well as on other related titles. A portion of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated for the ongoing support and development of the Open Yale Courses program.


India s per capita income rises to Rs 5, 729 per month #india #business #news,


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India’s per capita income rises to Rs 5,729 per month

India s per capita income, a gauge for measuring living standard, is estimated to have gone up 11.7% to Rs 5,729 per month in 2012-13 at current prices, compared with Rs 5,130 in the previous fiscal.

The estimated rate of growth in per capita income for the current fiscal, however, is lower than the previous fiscal when it grew by 13.7%.

The per capita income at current prices during 2012-13 is estimated to be Rs 68,747 as compared to Rs 61,564 during 2011-12, showing a rise of 11.7%, an official release by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Advance Estimate of National Income, 2012-13 showed today.

The per capita income in real terms (at 2004-05 constant prices) during 2012-13 is likely to attain a level of Rs 39,143 as compared to the First Revised Estimate for the year 2011-12 of Rs 38,037, it said.

The Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) at current prices is estimated at Rs 29.94 lakh crore in 2012-13 as against Rs 27.49 lakh crore in 2011-12, the release said.

However, at 2004-05 constant prices, the GFCF is estimated at Rs 19.44 lakh crore in the current fiscal as against Rs 18.97 lakh crore in the previous fiscal, it added.

The data also estimated an increase of 13.8% in the Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) to Rs 11.87 lakh crore at current prices for 2012-13 against Rs 10.43 lakh crore in 2011-12.

On Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) for the current fiscal, it has estimated an increase of 12.8% to Rs 57.06 lakh crore at current prices as against Rs 50.56 lakh crore in the previous fiscal.

These advance estimates are based on anticipated level of agricultural and industrial production, analysis of budget estimates of government expenditure and performance of key sectors like railways, transport other than railways, communication, banking and insurance, availbale so far, said the data.
These estimates have been compiled using the data on indicators available from the same sources as those used for compiling GDP estimates by economic activity, detailed data available on merchandise trade in respect of imports and exports, balance of payments, and monthly accounts of central government, it added further.


How to short a stock #technical #analysis, #charts, #financial #charts, #sharpcharts, #point #and #figure, #yield


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Market Breadth Charts

Visualize market participation with breadth charts, such as the number of NYSE stocks making new highs minus those making new lows

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Filter out market noise and stay focused only on significant price moves with our P F Charts, automatically plotted with 45-degree trendlines

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3 Reasons Why Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) Stock Is Going to $100 #markets, #starbucks #stock, #sbux,


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3 Reasons Why Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) Stock Is Going to $100

Here s an outlier for you. There are 124 S P 500 stocks currently trading over $100; not one of them is Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX ). Starbucks stock has gained 16,376% since it went public June 26, 1992, at $17 per share.

Of course, part of that is due to the company splitting its stock six times over the last 24 years, each time on a 2-for-1 basis.

If you bought one of those precious $17 shares back in 1992, on a split-adjusted basis they were worth 27 measly cents. What can you buy with that at today s prices? Not much.

Clearly, it s one of the all-time great American retail success stories and CEO Howard Schultz has a lot to do with that, but if you think Starbucks stock doesn t have more in the tank think again. It does.

Now, can it make it to $100, which is almost double where it currently trades? Absolutely it can. Whether Schultz and company let SBUX stock reach this level is another story altogether. The last time it split April 9, 2015 Starbucks stock hit a high of $95.23 just before issuing the additional share for every two held.

Close, but no cigar.

So maybe the title of my article should read, The 3 Reasons Why SBUX Stock Is Going to $95, Not $100.

Whatever the target price, I believe Starbucks stock is going to get there by the end of 2018. Cooperating stock markets a must; here are three reasons it could happen.

Three Reasons Starbucks Stock Could Reach $100

When SBUX announced in February that it was changing its rewards program from a frequency-based model to a spend-based model, both investors and customers went berserk over the plan with online protests threatening to march on Seattle.

At the time, I said the brouhaha would blow over as it was the right thing to do both from a business and fairness perspective. Officially launched on April 12, Starbucks has two full quarters in the books under its new Starbucks Rewards program and the results have been pretty much as expected.

In both the third and fourth quarters, it saw active Starbucks Rewards membership increase 18% year-over-year with 12 million active users as of Oct. 2.

Not surprisingly, its fourth quarter U.S. comps showed a nice 6% increase in average ticket and a 1% decline in the number of transactions. One of the big reasons it made the change was to avoid order splitting where under the old model someone would buy one drink, pay for it, and then buy another to get two stars. Under the new system, they get two stars for every dollar spent.

So, revenue goes up, and time wasted goes down.

Howard Schultz wants 5,000 stores open in China by the end of 2021, an increase of 2,600 from the number existing today. Opening a store a day at the moment, it will likely have to speed up to meet its five-year goal, but Schultz indicated in the SBUX Q4 2016 conference call that it was ready to meet the challenge.

We remain on plan to have over 5,000 stores in China by 2021, said Schultz. I am convinced that given the trust our customers in China have in the Starbucks brand and experience, and the loyalty they show us every day, in time, we will have more stores in China than we do in the U.S.

China s comps were up 6% in the fourth quarter with an even split between traffic and ticket. While SBUX operates in 15 markets in the China/Asia/Pacific region, China has the biggest number of Starbucks Rewards with more than 10 million members.

All you need to do to understand the future benefits of its Chinese invasion is to imagine the profits generated by 6% comp growth over 5,000 stores. Many American firms have tried and failed at conquering China. Starbucks is likely to be one of the few success stories.


Share Trading #stock, #shares, #markets, #share #dealing, #share #trading


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Share Dealing and Stock Trading

Share dealing is perhaps the most orthodox form of investing, allowing businesses to capitalise while providing private investors and funds with the chance to get involved in some of the world’s biggest companies. The global equities markets exchange billions on a daily basis between a diverse collection of traders and investment funds, and the countless tales of stock market hotshots hitting the big time apparently overnight continue to attract new blood to the markets in droves. But what exactly is share dealing, and how do share transactions generate value for the companies and traders involved?

Share dealing is the process of trading equity in publicly traded companies, allowing speculation on the future value of a company while enabling traders to shape how a given entity is managed. To put it another way, it is the dealing in ‘shares ‘ of company profits and decision making, which has a value variable to the immediate and anticipated future yield of the company concerned.

Shares are bought and sold largely as investments, in the hope that the ongoing dividend yield (i.e. the money paid by the company to its shareholders) will deliver a better return than other forms of investment. However, it is also possible to make money on sheer speculation, buying shares at a low price and selling when they reach a higher price. Indeed, it is often the case that share traders have no concern in exercising their rights as share holders in voting at company AGMs and choosing the board of directors, but are solely involved in buying to sell at a future date when the price of the shares rises.

Share transactions were originally formulated to give businesses the ability to raise capital, in order to fund large projects or, of increasing prevalence in more recent times, to provide the owners with the lucrative exit of which they’ve always dreamed.

A share, being at its most basic level a share in the profits of the company, is valuable to an investor, and effectively allows the business to raise money today against the security of future profits, simply by selling a proportion of its ownership. For the buyer, this share of ownership allows them to take an active role in the direction of a company, and with scale, affords a mechanism through which entire organisations can be bought and sold.

Today, the markets are largely automated, and publicly traded companies seldom know the details of individual shareholders, let alone scrutinising their credentials for ownership. Rather, shares are something of a commodity that are traded widely amongst faceless investors and funds the world over, who rely on the desire of businesses and other stakeholders to buy up successful companies in order to realise their profit.

In a nutshell, share dealing is the process of trading shares in large businesses, which have a value related directly to the market’s perception of the underlying value of the business. While traders are seldom concerned about directing and guiding the company in which they invest, shares provide a viable mechanism through which investors can trade off the back of corporate success, while having their own say in future corporate governance.

Trading Shares for a Living

Understanding the share trading basics is only half the battle. Once you’ve got to grips with how markets work, the function and behaviour of shares and how pricing responds to different quirks and market outcomes, you’re still only getting started, with much more to learn before you’re ready to take on the markets.

Aside from the obvious starting points and information you’ll find in any share trading guide . there are also a number of techniques and strategies for share trading success that are seldom shared. These tend to be figured out by a minority of astute traders after a while, but to begin with those that don’t know these trade secrets are at a significant disadvantage.

The first so-called trade secret, which also doubles up as simply prudent portfolio management. is diversification, or spreading your investments across a broad portfolio of assets. The best way to think about diversification is to consider it in the context of putting all your eggs in one basket – if you drop that basket, you’ve pretty much ruined your chance of an omelette.

If instead you choose to spread your eggs. the chances of any singular collapse having a detrimental or damaging effect on your capital are far less significant. This is the premise underlying diversification – that by spreading the risks of a portfolio collapse across additional positions, traders can minimise the potential damage to their capital from any one rogue position or market.

Diversification spreads the market risk. i.e. the ever-present risk that arises by virtue of being exposed to a financial market. Generally, fewer positions equal higher risk, while a greater number of positions represents a lesser individual risk to each capital portion. That said, diversification isn’t an infinite game, and boundaries need to be drawn to ensure you’re not managing too many positions at once, or tying up too much of your capital at any one time. The notion of capital allocation and position sizing is a topic all in itself, suffice to say it’s vital that traders stick to an approach that presents ample opportunity for profit without being spread unmanageably thinly.

While diversifying your portfolio is an important part of building a sustainable, secure trading account, it cannot alone bring success without further proactive measures. Containing risk on the whole is just as important as identifying opportunities for a profit, and the trader that’s looking for optimum results will cater to both ends of this spectrum for best effect. Diversification merely spreads risk around – it does not eliminate risk, and therefore you should continue to trade in a cautious, prudent manner at all times as far as possible, to ensure you are both offsetting risk while ensuring your chance of a profit.

Share Dealing Menu


Retail markets #retail #business #plan


#retail law

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Retail markets

Retail energy markets are the final link in the energy supply chain. Energy retailers buy electricity and gas in wholesale markets, package it with transportation services and sell it to customers. This is typically the main interface between the electricity and gas industry, and customers such as households and small businesses.

National energy customer framework

On 1 July 2012, the AER assumed responsibility for regulating retail energy markets in those states and territories that had adopted the National Energy Customer Framework (‘Customer Framework’). The reforms aimed to streamline the way that energy retail markets are regulated through a single framework enforced by the AER.

The Customer Framework includes the National Energy Retail Law, National Energy Retail Rules and National Energy Retail Regulations. Together, these Laws and Rules set out key protections and obligations for energy customers and the businesses they buy their energy from.

As of 1 July 2015, the Customer Framework has commenced in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and South Australia. In states that have yet to adopt the Customer Framework, state and territory governments will remain responsible for regulating retail energy markets. Western Australia and the Northern Territory do not propose to implement the reforms.

Our role in retail markets

In jurisdictions where the Customer Framework has commenced, the AER is responsible for:

  • monitoring and enforcing compliance with obligations in the Retail Law, Rules and Regulations
  • reporting on the performance of the market and energy businesses, including information on energy affordability and trends in disconnection of customers for non-payment of energy bills.
  • assessing applications for national retailer authorisations from businesses that want to become energy retailers, and granting exemptions from the requirement to be authorised (for example, for nursing homes and caravan parks that pay for energy and onsell it to their tenants as part of their normal business)
  • approving policies energy retailers must implement to assist customers who are facing financial hardship and looking for help to manage their bills
  • administering a national retailer of last resort scheme, which protects customers and the market if a retail business fails

The AER does not have a role in setting retail energy prices. In some states and territories, the government remains responsible for control of the energy prices customers see on their bills. For example, in Queensland, the ACT and Tasmania, you can ask for a contract with a regulated electricity price where the price is set by government. Regulated prices for gas are only available in New South Wales. In Victoria and South Australia, there are no regulated offers or tariffs (for electricity or gas), which means that energy retailers set all of their own prices. The AER has developed an energy price comparison website, Energy Made Easy. to help customers find the best energy offers for their needs.

The AER has released procedures and guidelines for how it undertakes its roles under the Retail Law. It developed these documents in consultation with energy customers, consumer advocacy groups, energy retailers, state and territory agencies, ombudsman schemes and other stakeholders.

The Customer Framework also makes important changes to the National Electricity Rules and National Gas Rules for customers who need to connect their home or business to the energy network. See our Getting connected page for more information about the AER’s role in customer connections.

How was the Customer Framework developed?

The Customer Framework was introduced after extensive consultation by COAG Energy Council (previously the Standing Council on Energy and Resources).

Representatives from Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia worked together to develop a single set of rules that could be applied across the National Energy Market. (Western Australia and the Northern Territory will continue to operate under separate frameworks.) Information on how the Customer Framework was developed, including consultation papers, is available from the COAG Energy Council website .

The South Australian parliament passed the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011 in March 2011. The Retail Law is a schedule to that Act. The first Retail Rules and Regulations were made by the Governor of South Australia in June 2012.

In order for the Customer Framework to apply, each participating jurisdiction including South Australia needs to pass its own legislation adopting the Retail Law, Rules and Regulations. When they do this, a state or territory may choose to change the way that the Law or the Rules apply, for example by creating additional or different protections and obligations for customers and businesses in that State or Territory.

This also means that the Customer Framework will come into effect on different dates in different States and Territories. The AER’s new functions under the Customer Framework will start in each jurisdiction from the date the Retail Law and Rules take effect in that jurisdiction. Until then, State and Territory governments will remain responsible for regulating retail energy markets.

Legislation

The National Energy Retail Law is Schedule 1 of the National Energy Retail Law (South Australia) Act 2011. which can be accessed from the South Australian Attorney-Generals’ Department website. You can access the National Energy Retail Regulations from the same website.

The National Energy Retail Rules can be accessed from the Australian Energy Market Commission website.
The website also contains information on how the Retail Law, Rules and Regulations apply in each jurisdiction can be accessed.

Customer consultative group

Under the NERR the AER is required to establish and maintain a Customer Consultative Group (CCG). The purpose of the CCG is to provide advice to the AER in relation to its functions under the energy laws affecting energy consumers across participating jurisdictions. CCG meetings are held up to three times a year.


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