Victorian Default Offer to put downward pressure on energy prices

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The Victorian Government will abolish standing energy offers and require energy retailers to offer a fairer price for energy – called the Victorian Default Offer –  that will cut the cost of energy for households across the state.

The new measure is part of the State Government’s final response to the bipartisan Independent Review of the Electricity and Gas Retail Markets in Victoria.

The Independent Review – undertaken by John Thwaites, Terry Mulder and Patricia Faulkner – was the result of detailed research into energy retail prices and extensive consultation with consumers and industry.

The Review looked at whether the electricity and gas retail markets were operating in the best interests of Victorians and found customers were paying too much for energy.

The Review found that intervention was required to ensure better outcomes for customers and recommended a range of measures to put downward pressure on prices and protect low income and vulnerable customers.

The State Government is supporting all of the review’s 11 recommendations, including the new default offer, which will be implemented from 1 July 2019.

It will also direct the Essential Services Commission to review the Energy Retail Code to ensure contracts are clear and fair.

Work is already underway on the report’s recommendations, including an Energy Brokerage Pilot to connect low income households with energy brokers to help them find a better energy offer, and the Essential Services Commission issuing a draft determination requiring retailers to notify a customer of their best available offer.

This builds on the Government’s work to cut power bills for Victorians. This includes the $50 Power Saving Bonus, which has encouraged more than 200,000 people to compare their energy offer and save on their power bills.

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will also install solar panels, batteries or hot water systems on 720,000 houses across the state through the Solar Homes program – driving down energy prices and greenhouse gas emissions.

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