Thousands of Australian families and small businesses on standing offers will this get an automatic discount of up to 15 per cent off their electricity bill in 2019.
Government pressure on retailers has resulted in lower power bills from today for standing offer customers across Victoria, including the Mornington Peninsula.
Federal Member for Flinders, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP said this change ensured that customers who stayed loyal to their energy provider received the same benefits at those who shop around.
“For too long energy retailers have been taking advantage of customer loyalty by massively increasing their electricity prices,” Mr Hunt said. “The Coalition Government has demanded customers be put first and today loyalty tax customers are getting a better deal, including concession customers who need it most.”
“This week, energy retailers including Origin, Energy Australia and AGL have lowered their standing offer prices following pressure from the Morrison Government to remove the loyalty tax for the almost one million standing offer customers who are paying too much for their electricity.”
“For example, customers with concessions on the Mornington Peninsula, including those on aged and disability pensions, will see reductions to their standing offers, with average savings of $200 to $560 per annum, depending on their retailer.”
While the Government welcomes the action taken by the energy retailers, there is more to be done.
Mr Hunt went on to outline how the Morrison Government would continue to take proactive measures to help Australians keep the lights on.
“Loopholes and dodgy late-payment fees are having an impact on one in four households,” said Mr Hunt. “An average customer can end up paying $600 more a year just because they struggle to pay their electricity bill on time. This shameful practice must end, and the Morrison Government is driving changes to the rules to make this happen.”
“Consumers can go to the Powering Forward website to find ways to save on their electricity bills. A few minutes of talking to your retailer or shopping around could result in hundreds off the average bill and add thousands to the small business bottom line.”
The Coalition Government has also announced $131 million over seven years from 2018–19 (and $10.1 million per year from 2025–26) to support measures to improve energy affordability, reliability and sustainability.
This includes funding to:
- enable the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to hold an inquiry into prices, profit and margins in relation to the supply of electricity in the National Electricity Market
- establish a default market offer and reference bill to help consumers get better energy deals
- design and implement the new Underwriting New Generation Investment Program to drive investment in new power generation to increase energy supply and improve competition and affordability in the energy sector
- provide support to small and medium businesses to get better energy deals and reduce their energy usage
- support the Energy Security Board to provide whole-of-market oversight for energy reliability, affordability and sustainability
- implement the Retailer Reliability Obligation to ensure a reliable energy system, and
- continue the national campaign to inform Australians about work being undertaken to deliver more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy and promote options available to consumers to reduce their energy bills.
Many Australian families and small businesses are now better off because of the actions this Government has taken. We are committed to delivering lower and fair power prices that make a real difference to household budgets, while we keep the lights on.