Customers to be notified when energy discount changes

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The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has released a rule requiring retailers to notify electricity and gas customers when their energy discounts are about to finish or change.

From February 2018, retailers must let customers know when benefits they have signed up to are about to end.

These notices have to include the date on which the customer’s benefits will change and a reference to the energy comparison website.

By October 2018, retailers will be required to provide even more detailed information, including how much a customer will pay if they stay on the same deal after the change.

This means customers will know when their benefit is changing, and be able to readily compare their existing deal with other deals and choose a better one if they want to.

“Notices will encourage customers to shop around and look for a better energy deal,” the AEMC said in a statement.

“Households and small businesses often sign up to electricity and gas deals with rewards like price discounts or movie tickets.

“Customers may not be aware when these benefits end or change, and could be left financially worse off as a result.”

The rule was made in response to a rule change request from Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.

“In August, the Prime Minister secured a commitment from major energy retailers to support a range of actions to put downward pressure on prices, including the rule change,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“This rule means that, for the first time, retailers will be required to notify customers ahead of time, when a benefit in their contract is about to end or change.

“This will put consumers in a strong, informed position to consider their energy options and to shop around for a better deal.”