Two of Australia’s big energy retailers have announced measures to reduce power bills for consumers.
AGL and EnergyAustralia announced that electricity and gas prices would be slashed following January 1, 2019, a date given by Prime Minister Scott Morrison warning retailers to reduce bills or face penalties.
For Victorian families and business, AGL has proposed to cut down electricity prices by 1.6 per cent, estimating to save households $23 a year, and small businesses up to $60 a year.
AGL gas prices in Victoria will come down by 1.9 per cent for residential customers and 1.2 per cent for small businesses, averaging to savings of $11 for household gas customers and $56 for small business gas customers.
The move comes two weeks after AGL introduced a new safety net protection and follows earlier cuts to electricity prices in SA, QLD and NSW in July.
AGL interim CEO Brett Redman said the modest cuts would provide some relief for customers, although work on affordability needed to continue.
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EnergyAustralia has also announced that concession customers on default or standing offer tariffs would receive automatic discounts following the start of the New Year.
The discount will be available to EnergyAustralia pensioners, veterans and healthcare-card holders on default tariffs, and is estimated to save customers an average of $270 on their electricity usage and $145 on gas.
EnergyAustralia chief customer officer Chris Ryan said customers were hit hard when large plants in Victoria and South Australia closed on short notice.
“Around 10 per cent of our customers are still on basic, full-price rates and it’s costing them a lot of money,” Mr Ryan said.
“We’ll continue to encourage these customers to switch to a better EnergyAustralia deal… As we do that, we’ll provide our concession customers… who aren’t already on a market offer with a 15 per cent discount – and they don’t need to do anything to get it.”
Mr Ryan has encouraged EnergyAustralia customers still on default tariffs to move to one of the company’s cheaper market plans.
Both retailers have invested up to $80 million dollars in schemes aiming to reduce energy costs across Australia.
By Natasya Quinlan