Push for energy retail price increase rule change

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The federal and NSW governments are pushing for the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to require that energy retailers notify customers of price increases before they occur so customers can look for a better deal.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the proposed rule change complements actions already taken by the Turnbull Government to deliver more affordable energy for Australian households.

“Currently retailers don’t have to inform customers of price changes until their next bill, which can be months after the price change has occurred – meaning customers can be paying more than they thought without being aware of it,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“This needs to change to ensure customers are getting a better and fairer deal.

“The proposed rule change builds on the work we have already done requiring retailers to notify electricity and gas customers when their energy discounts are about to finish or change and the work we are doing to ensure simpler and more comparable information for customers to choose a better deal.

“It also follows a suite of measures the Turnbull Government has taken to lower energy prices, including making sure the network companies can no longer game the system and an agreement with the gas companies to keep more gas for Australians before it is shipped offshore.”

NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said ensuring customers have the information they need to shop around is key to putting more pressure on retailers and driving prices down.

“The NSW Government’s top priority is addressing cost of living pressures impacting NSW households,” Minister Harwin said.

“If your rate is about to change – you should know beforehand. It’s about giving power to families and businesses to switch to a better offer before the bill lands in the mailbox.

“This measure follows steps we have already taken in NSW, including banning retailers from charging exit fees when customers switch suppliers, banning paper bill fees, boosting rebates by 20 per cent and requiring retailers to help customers receiving energy rebates to find the best deal that meets their needs.”