Under new changes introduced by the State Government, energy retailers must make it easier to find a better electricity deal, by publishing their best offer on bills.
The changes are part of the Government’s interim response to the independent, bipartisan review into Victoria’s electricity and gas retail markets, to ensure they are working in the best interest of Victorians.
The Government has accepted nine of the report’s 11 recommendations, and will undertake further analysis on the other two, introducing a no-frills basic service offer and abolishing standing offers. As a result of the report, the state’s three largest energy retailers are providing rebates of up $720 to more than 280,000 Victorians customers on costly standing offers.
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) will monitor and regularly report on the competitiveness of Victoria’s energy retail market. The ESC will consult with industry and consumer advocates on the methodology for a reference price, to assist in monitoring the market, and report back later this year. The reference price will be used to assess whether customers are receiving a fair go.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the changes will boost transparency and support hard working families and businesses.
“We know Victorian families are struggling with increasing energy prices,” she said, “that’s why we’re helping more Victorians switch to a better offer.”
Work is already underway on a number of the report’s recommendations, including protections for low income and vulnerable customers, and a new brokerage service.
The Government will partner with a community organisation to design, deliver and evaluate the outcomes of an Energy Brokerage Service Pilot, aiming to reach up to 10,000 vulnerable consumers.
The Government’s final response to the review will be released later this year. Details of the interim can be found at engage.vic.gov.au.