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New legislation introduced by the Legislative Assembly will require ACT energy retailers to inform their customers if a better deal is available, making it easier to compare deals.

Andrew Barr, ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer, said, “Energy prices are notoriously hard to compare, especially for people who can’t afford the time it takes to navigate the best available deal out of providers.

“These new rules will require energy retailers to tell you about a ‘reference price’ – a common benchmark that your deal will be compared against – and to tell you if a better deal is available, without you having to ask.”

These changes were recommended by the ACT’s Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission, and were prioritised in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement.

“This will make a real difference to Canberrans,” Mr Barr said. 

“We know the difference between a standing offer price and the best market price can be up to $400 a year. 

“We also know that around 40 per cent of Canberrans are on standing offer contracts.”

The new expectations and requirements for retailers will be set out in the ACT Retail Electricity (Transparency and Comparability) Code, which is available in draft at https://www.icrc.act.gov.au/ and expected to come into effect in the second half of 2021.

Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, said, “As electricity prices fluctuate it’s important to know there’s a lot you can do to take the power back and keep your bills under control.

“People in their homes and running small businesses will really benefit from this fast-track to the best possible deal.

“Electricity contracts have become increasingly complicated for consumers, but these new rules will require electricity companies to give consumers the best information and ensure they can get the best deal.

“The average Canberra household can save over $500 each year by switching to a better deal, according to the independent competition regulator’s most recent assessment.

“Improving energy efficiency is the other major cost saver that’s available to all Canberrans. Even small improvements can reduce your bills and make you more comfortable while using less power.

“The 74,000 households and businesses that have already participated in the ACT Government’s Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme are saving an average $300 per year for households and $5,200 per year for businesses.

“Using less power on the best possible deal is a winning combination.”

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