5 April 2019
The Morrison Government has today implemented the Electricity Retail Code which will lock in a price safety net for tens of thousands of small businesses and around 750,000 residential customers on the highest electricity offers in the market.
The Electricity Retail Code establishes a Default Market Offer (DMO) which will deliver lower prices for standing offer customers in New South Wales, South Australia and South East Queensland from 1 July 2019.
The DMO responds to recommendations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and will prevent energy companies from slugging their loyal customers by setting a maximum price for standing offers in regions where prices are not already regulated by a state or territory government.
Households on standing offers are paying up to $479 more than the DMO price in South Australia, $696 more in NSW and $660 more in South East Queensland. These households will automatically benefit from the implementation of the Government's DMO from 1 July.
The Electricity Retail Code also establishes a reference price mechanism. This will require retailers to advertise their offers in comparison to the DMO price. This benchmark will reduce the confusion over discounts that have benefitted energy retailers for far too long, and will help customers choose the best deal available in the market.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will set the maximum price in each region, with their final price determination due at the end of April.
The ACCC has strongly welcomed these landmark measures, which build on Government action to implement much-needed reforms to address what they have called "the dysfunctional state of energy retailing in Australia" and lower energy costs for families and small businesses.
The Default Market Offer is part of the Government's plan to improve competition, end dodgy practices, and deliver a more affordable and reliable energy system for Australians.