Better competition and bigger savings for energy consumers

Media release

28 June 2019

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has today released its 2019 Retail Energy Competition Review, which confirms stronger competition in the market and big savings available for energy consumers.

My priority as Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction is to ensure households and businesses are getting a fair deal on energy and I’m encouraged to see the market responding by offering simpler deals and better prices. The average household bill offer has fallen by up to 4 in NSW and Victoria and 7 per cent across southeast Queensland.

Our ‘make the call’ Powering Forward campaign has helped record numbers of Australians take matters into their own hands and move onto a new electricity deal in the past year. With more energy retailers entering the market, customers now have even more options to choose from.

More customers have taken up better offers provided by smaller retailers, which is reducing the power of the ‘big three’ energy retailers. This reduction in market concentration can only be good for competition and electricity consumers. 

The AEMC’s findings indicate that the Government’s pressure on retailers to reduce prices has had an effect. Average standing offer prices have fallen in south east Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

This is a good start, and the report finds customers continue to move away from higher priced standing offers to better market offers.

But loyal customers stuck on standing offers are still paying extremely high prices. Depending on the region, the AEMC found that an average residential consumer on the median standing offer can save up to $760 by switching to the best market offer.

This is why the Morrison Government has introduced the Default Market Offer which will serve as a price cap on what retailers can charge their standing offer customers.

From 1 July, households changing to default market offers from standing offer tariffs could save up to $525 in South Australia, $663 in NSW and $662 in south-east Queensland. Small businesses on standing offer tariffs could save up to $1,913 in South Australia, $2,373 in south-east Queensland and $2,851 in NSW.

This builds on other actions the Government has taken to protect customers and reduce power prices for families and small businesses, including:

  • the one-off Energy Assistance Payment that more than 3.9 million Australians have received to help them manage their energy bills and cost of living expenses, and
  • a $10 million business energy advisory service that will help thousands of small businesses to reduce their energy use, lower bills and find the best energy deals for them.

The Morrison Government is committed to getting power prices down for households and businesses, while keeping the lights on, reducing emissions and keeping our economy strong.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction