Energy retailers will need to make it easier to find a better electricity deal by publishing their best offer on bills as part of new changes announced by the Victorian Government.
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) will also monitor and regularly report on the competitiveness of Victoria’s energy retail market.
The changes are part of the Victorian Government’s interim response to the independent, bipartisan review into Victoria’s electricity and gas retail markets, to ensure it is working in the best interest of Victorians.
The government accepts nine of the report’s eleven 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 ESC will consult with industry and consumer advocates on the methodology for a reference price and will report back later in 2018. This reference price will assist the Commission in monitoring the market.
The reference price will be used by the ESC to assess whether Victorians are receiving a fair go when it comes to energy prices.
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 – which aims to reach up to 10,000 vulnerable consumers.
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “These changes will boost transparency and support hard working families and businesses.
“We know Victorian families are struggling with increasing energy prices – that’s why we’re helping more Victorians switch to a better offer.”
The government’s final response to the review will be released later in 2018.