Deregulating retail electricity works, report says

A new independent review has delivered a rousing endorsement of the consumer benefits of deregulating electricity markets.

The Australian Energy Council today welcomed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART’s) final report on a Review of the performance and competitiveness of the retail electricity market in NSW.

The report confirmed that since deregulation in 2014, NSW consumers are enjoying greater choice, innovation and competitive pricing.

“We also consider that the recent price changes retailers announced in July 2016 reflect changes in the underlying market costs of supplying small customers, and are therefore consistent with a competitive market,” the report summary said.

“In the two years since retail electricity price regulation was removed in NSW, market-led product and service innovation and price discounting have provided benefits to customers.

“We expect these dynamic efficiency benefits to continue.”

The Council’s chief executive Matthew Warren said the report “reminds us of the benefits of deregulating energy markets, and letting competition drive the best deals for consumers”.

“IPART is reporting wins across the Board since deregulation: more retailers competing in NSW, greater innovation in billing and bundling of electricity with other services and substantial discounting across the market,” Mr Warren said.

“More products and services are being made available to customers by an increasing number of retailers. That’s good news.

“If households shop around they can save up to $445 a year, while small business customers can save up to $856 a year.”