Retail deregulation working in NSW: IPART

New South Wales consumers have been told the electricity market is ‘working well’ two years after the removal of retail electricity price regulation.

IPART chair Dr Peter Boxall said the draft finding was that competition is working for residential and small business customers.

“In the two years since electricity prices were deregulated in NSW there has been a substantial increase in market-led product and service innovation providing benefits to customers,” Dr Boxall said.

“These include offers that allow customers to have greater control over their usage and bills.”

The draft report found no substantial barriers for smaller electricity retailers, with six new retailers entering the market in the past year.

“Typical residential customers can save between $250 and $445 per annum and typical small business customers can save between $460 and $850 per annum by switching from their retailer’s standing offer to their best market offer,” Dr Boxall said.

While IPART found the market was working, some customers were not taking advantage of the price discounts and other benefits on offer.

“The market is changing quickly so we recommend customers regularly shop around for a better deal,” Dr Boxall said.

The Australian Energy Council welcomed the report, in particular the findings that six new retailers had entered the New South Wales market over in the last financial year.

General manager of policy Kieran Donoghue encouraged consumers to shop around for the best possible energy plan.

“There are many ways to switch, including the government-run www.energymadeeasy.gov.au which can help in comparing energy market offers,” he said.

“This free, independent service allows consumers to compare all electricity and gas retailers in their area.”

“The Australian Government’s EnergyMadeEasy website is a good place to start.”
Submissions to the Draft Report are due by 27 October 2016. A copy of the Draft Report and information about how to make submissions can be found on IPART’s website.